NEWS

In Brief

Cyprus talks

Christofias unhappy with Talat appeal for EU intervention Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias yesterday accused Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat of handling the Cyprus issue «awkwardly, without respect for the Republic of Cyprus and the basis on which the Cyprus problem must be resolved.» Christofias’s comments came after Talat asked European Union officials to push Greek-Cypriot government officials to speed up peace talks, warning that support among Turkish Cypriots for the initiative was waning. «The pace is too slow – extremely slow,» Talat said. Christofias said that if Talat «wants to play it tough and intransigent, that is his prerogative» but that «he would not gain anything.» Migrant rights Influx a strain, minister says Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos yesterday stressed the importance of respecting the rights of all on the occasion of International Human Rights Day but indicated that increasing illegal immigration was making this a difficult ideal to achieve. «Economic instability threatens social cohesion and creates circumstances that make it difficult to ensure that all individual rights are respected,» Pavlopoulos said, referring to a «dramatic increase in immigration flows.» Weather worsens The unseasonably fair weather conditions of the past few days are set to change from tomorrow when winds are forecast to reach 9 or 10 on the Beaufort scale with heavy rain and thunderstorms as well. The General Secretariat for Civil Protection said it had asked local authorities to be on standby for possible damage and problems on the national road network. The stormy spell is expected to ease from Saturday. Tourism plan The association representing the country’s landscape architects yesterday called on the Environment and Public Works Ministry to revoke its plan for the development of tourism infrastructure, saying that it did not include provisions to protect the environment and cultural heritage. According to the Panhellenic Association of Landscape Architects, the plan «serves short-term goals for development that could have harmful consequences on the environment and sustainable development.» Acropolis closed Visitors will not be able to access the ancient site of the Acropolis or the Parthenon today as Culture Ministry staff continue a strike over pay and benefits. Road fatalities Three people were killed yesterday in three separate accidents on the national road network. A 19-year-old youth riding a motorcycle in Nea Krini, Thessaloniki, was killed when he collided with a 31-year-old motorist who suffered serious injuries. In the Thessaloniki district of Evosmo, a 41-year-old pedestrian was killed when he was hit by a truck. The victim was an immigrant. Also, not far from Trikala, in central Greece, a 62-year-old motorcyclist died after being hit by a truck. It was unclear who was to blame.