Greece pressing countries not to take part in Turkish operation Greek diplomats are pressing their counterparts in the US, Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium to scale down their planned participation in a Turkish military exercise due to be held in the Aegean during the second half of next month, sources have told Kathimerini. Athens is keen to dissuade these countries from joining the exercise as sections of it are believed to constitute an attempt by Ankara to consolidate territorial claims in the Aegean, the sources say. The aim of the Greek diplomatic effort is not to convince these countries to avoid the exercise entirely but only those sections that challenge Greece’s rights in the Aegean. FLOAT APPROVED Ephraim effigy gets Patras OK A Patras court yesterday rejected a complaint by a local religious organization seeking the imposition of a fine on city authorities for allowing the construction of a Carnival float depicting two monks, one of whom is supposed to be Ephraim, the central figure in the Vatopedi land-swap scandal with the state. The court must still rule on a second complaint by the same organization, demanding that the float be banned from participating in the city’s main Carnival parade on March 1. Peleki censured A three-member disciplinary court yesterday ruled that Katerina Peleki, the wife of former Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis should face a panel of five appeals court judges who will decide whether she should be prevented from working as a notary. Peleki has been implicated in the Vatopedi land exchange deal but denies any wrongdoing in preparing legal documents for the deal, which allegedly led to taxpayers being shortchanged. Peleki is also being censured for her involvement in two real estate companies, which was a major factor in Voulgarakis having to resign his post last year. University vandalism A group of around 20 hooded youths vandalized the administrative office of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University early yesterday, smashing windows and office equipment. Two staff members who had been in the office at the time were not injured. Exarchia corpse Police in the central Athens district of Exarchia yesterday recovered the charred corpse of a woman from an abandoned apartment block where a fire had broken out. No details were revealed about the woman’s identity or about the suspected cause of the fire. Attiki Odos A section of the Attiki Odos from the Kifissias Avenue junction to the Kimis Avenue junction will be closed from midnight on Saturday to 5 a.m. on Sunday. Embezzlement case The former president of the Interamerican insurance company, Dimitris Kontominas, as well as the firm’s board members, were questioned by a magistrate in connection with the alleged embezzlement of funds between 1996 and 1998. The case came to light following complaints from Greeks living in Germany, South Africa, Belgium and the Netherlands that they had taken out insurance with Interamerican but their policies were later declared worthless. Kontominas submitted a written statement.