NEWS

In Brief

PAPADOPOULOS ILL

Ex-Cyprus president in hospital with breathing problems Former Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos was admitted to an intensive care unit in Nicosia yesterday suffering from acute breathing problems. Doctors said he was reacting well to initial treatment. Papadopoulos was due fly to the US for further tests this week, after being hospitalized earlier in the week with lower back pains. Meanwhile, the special United Nations envoy to Cyprus, Alexander Downer expressed optimism that a solution to the island’s division would be achieved. In contrast, Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias said that the talks between the two sides are going through some serious problems at this initial phase. FILM FESTIVAL Iranian takes Golden Alexander «Over There» by Iranian director Abdolreza Kahani was awarded the top prize and 37,000 euros at the 49th Thessaloniki International Film Festival yesterday. The Silver Alexander (22,000 euros) went to Romania’s Adrian Sitaru for «Hooked,» Celina Murga from Argentina was named Best Director for «A Week Alone» and Best Screenplay went to Australia’s Matthew Newton for «Three Blind Mice.» «Sunny Spells,» by France’s Diasteme was the audience’s favorite in the international competition, earning the Fischer Public Choice Award and 3,000 euros in cash. The State Quality Awards for Greek cinema will be announced today. Unhealthy system Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos has acknowledged that the complaints of employees in the national health service are justified, as the sector is underfunded. Writing in Sunday’s Kathimerini at the end of a week that saw him obliged to intervene in order to convince some state hospital suppliers to abandon plans to stop providing their goods, Avramopoulos said that «to a large extent» those protesting about conditions did so with some justification. The minister called for the health system to receive «a bold economic boost.» Hania protest Fifteen migrants, mostly from Morocco and Palestine, will today be completing their second week of a hunger strike protest in front of the town hall in Hania, Crete. The protesters are demanding a speeding up of the process for granting residence permits. Court stoppage Court workers will be holding work stoppages from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. every day this week to press their demands for increases to bonus payments and travel expenses. Tree planting Hundreds of volunteers took part in the planting of some 20,000 trees on the hills surrounding Kalyvia, east of Athens, yesterday in an event organized by Skai TV and Radio. Greenery in the area was destroyed during wildfires in the summer of 2007. Bishop struck The Bishop of Nea Krini and Kalamaria, Prokopios, was taken to a hospital in Thessaloniki on Saturday after being hit by a motorcycle. The bishop suffered head injuries and a broken leg when he was hit by the bike. Lights out In the latest incident of vandalism against public property in Hania, Crete, unknown assailants cut down a street light and threw it into the sea early Saturday.