NEWS

In Brief

NO EFES

Turkish invasion war games canceled in apparent goodwill gesture Turkey has canceled an annual military exercise scheduled for the Aegean this summer in what Turkish diplomatic sources interpreted as a gesture of goodwill to Greece. The Efes exercises were called off «due to developments in the international realm,» the Turkish general staff said yesterday. The wargames involve Turkish forces landing in an Aegean bay, and have been strongly criticized by Greece for simulating the invasion of Greek islands. CHANGE OF GUARD Navy to send replacement frigate for Afghan mission tomorrow The frigate Spetsai will set off tomorrow to replace the Psara, which has been carrying out patrol and escort duties in the Indian Ocean for the last three months as part of the US-led military operation «Enduring Freedom,» the Defense Ministry said yesterday. The Spetsai will leave the navy base of Salamis at 9.30 a.m. The Psara and its 226-strong crew will begin its return journey on June 30. POLICE TRIAL Officers accused of protecting bar Eight senior police officers and another 11 people believed to have formed a protection ring for an illicit bar in the central town of Karditsa went on trial in Larissa, central Greece, yesterday. The eight officers, including Karditsa’s former police chief, Stefanos Kokkalis, face a total of 15 charges, including procurement and taking bribes for helping bar owner Achilleas Lychritis obtain fake documents certifying Ukrainian barmaids as members of a performing ballet troupe with a clean bill of health. Mitsotakis Honorary New Democracy Chairman Constantine Mitsotakis arrived back in Athens yesterday following a successful operation at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, to strengthen the walls of an artery last week. Water cuts Residents of eastern Attica will have to tolerate low water pressure or, in some cases, complete lack of water from 11 p.m. tomorrow until 9 a.m. on Friday while a damaged water pipe which normally feeds the central network is repaired. The districts of Koropi, Kalyvia, Kouvaras and Keratea will be affected. Property suits The Greek-Cypriot mayors of municipalities in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus propose to sue British estate agents for trying to sell property in the north, the Cyprus Mail reported yesterday. The Church will also try to protect its confiscated property in the north, according to a statement by the Bishop of Kyrenia. Nicosia last month vowed to step up efforts to warn foreigners that buying property in the north is illegal. Pension disabled A man was arrested yesterday for brandishing a starter’s gun at several clerks in a bank in Eleftheroupolis, near the northern town of Kavala, after he was told his monthly disability pension payments had been stopped. Bank employees – evidently unaware that the weapon was innocuous – advised the unnamed assailant, 39, to contact his pension fund to discover why his payments had been suspended. School bus A bus driver responsible for ferrying pupils of the Arsakeion girls’ school in Ekali to and from their lessons was arrested in the Athens suburb of Peristeri yesterday after police discovered he lacked a standard driving license as well official bus driver’s permit and that his vehicle had not passed legal inspection. Truth, Amnesty The US-based Speak Truth to Power organization and Amnesty International Greece yesterday announced the Greek premiere of the play Voices from Beyond the Dark, by Chilean playright Ariel Dorfman. Directed by Michalis Cacoyannis, it will be held at the Athens Concert Hall on June 13. Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, whose book Speak Truth to Power forms the basis of the play, arrived in Athens yesterday. Terrorism A memorial ceremony for victims of terrorism was held at US Ambassador Thomas Miller’s residence last night. Among those present were victims’ families. Stephanopoulos President Costis Stephanopoulos arrived in Melbourne yesterday for a 10-day trip across Australia and New Zealand.