NEWS

In Brief

NAME DISPUTE

FYROM parades under official name in Beijing The Olympic delegation of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) yesterday paraded in the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympiad under a banner with the initials of its official name FYROM, used by the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This followed Greek representations to the IOC and the organizers to stop the neighboring country from using its constitutional name of «Republic of Macedonia.» The Hellenic Olympic Committee also complained regarding a reference to FYROM athletes on the official Games website as «Macedonians.» Separately, FYROM Premier Nikola Gruevski snubbed a suggestion that UN mediator Matthew Nimetz might propose «New Democratic State of Macedonia» to resolve the name dispute with Greece. «It will have the same fate as his last proposal,» he said. SPRINTER CAUGHT New doping case rocks sport in Greece Just as the Olympics got under way yesterday, Greek sprinter Tassos Gousis tested positive for the same banned substance (methyltrienolone) as the 11 weightlifters on the national team and swimmer Yiannis Drymonakos earlier this year. Gousis was caught during the tests conducted by the Greek anti-doping agency ESKAN, which checked the entire Olympic squad. Gousis would have been Greece’s representative in Beijing in the 200 meters, in athletics. He currently is in Japan training with most of the Greek athletics squad. Reports suggested he is to return to Greece immediately. Economic gloom The latest data on industrial production and imported industrial goods point to a slowdown in economic activity and an intensification of inflationary pressures in the short term. The National Statistics Service said the imported industrial goods price index stood 12.6 percent higher in June, compared to last year, due to steep rises on the part of oil, food and raw materials. Industrial production fell 3.1 in June and 2.4 percent in the first half as a whole. The data corroborate a recent slide in consumer confidence and business expectations in a survey by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research. Migrants center The government today is inaugurating a new reception center for illegal immigrants in the town of Sparta in the Peloponnese, one of four new such facilities planned in response to a growing number of people being arrested after entering the country without visas. Six reception centers already exist in border areas – three in Thrace and one each on the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos. The number of illegal immigrants arrested has grown from about 66,000 in 2005 to 95,000 in 2006 and 112,000 last year. In the first four months of 2008, the number of arrests reached 29,500 and is projected to exceed 120,000 by year-end.