NEWS

In Brief

ANKARA RAP

Greek PM chides Turkey over plans to search for Aegean oil Greece is unhappy with the lack of effort from Turkey in improving relations between the two countries, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said yesterday. «We are not satisfied with the level of Turkey’s response to the honest will of Greece for the constant improvement of our relations,» said Karamanlis in response to a question in Parliament about Turkey’s recent attempt to begin searching for oil near the southeastern Aegean island of Kastellorizo. Karamanlis called on Ankara to settle peacefully its differences with Greece over the continental shelf, even if it means taking the matter to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. DIRTY ASOPOS ‘River not ministry’s problem’ The Public Works and Environment Ministry responded yesterday to criticism that it was not doing enough to ensure that the Asopos River is not being polluted by saying that it is not responsible for ensuring that there is enough staff at regional and local authorities to conduct inspections. The ministry also denied ordering tests carried out by the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (IGME) in February, which indicated high levels of chromium, arsenic and lead in the river, which supplies millions of Athenians with drinking water. Suspects escape Six policemen and a police chief from Thebes are to be the subject of an internal investigation after three suspects escaped from custody early yesterday. The three Albanian nationals had been arrested four months ago on suspicion of being part of a criminal gang that carried out robberies around Greece. They were transferred to Thebes Police Station on Thursday so they could appear before a prosecutor the following day. The suspects escaped after sawing through the bars of their cell window between 2 and 3 a.m. No guard had been assigned to keep watch over the three men. Taking flight Members of the Hellenic Wildlife Hospital (EKPAZ) released a number of birds, including eagles and hawks, back into the wild on the Dodecanese island of Rhodes yesterday. EKPAZ regularly rehabilitates animals and releases them into their natural habitat. Metro extension A new tender was launched yesterday for the construction of an extension to Line 3 of the metro through the western suburbs of Athens all the way to Piraeus. The 500-million-euro project will involve the construction of six new stations along the 7.6-kilometer extension. Construction companies have until January 30, 2009, to declare their interest. Church thieves Two men aged 37 and 40 have been arrested for stealing money and valuables from 14 churches in Serres and other cities in northern Greece, police said yesterday. The two suspects had 4,500 euros in their possession and officers found some of the stolen items at the home of the 37-year-old.