NEWS

In Brief

ANOTHER PRISONER ESCAPES

Jordanian bolts from patrol car stopped at traffic lights Police accompanying a Jordanian national from police custody in Neos Cosmos to Athens’s Evangelismos Hospital yesterday afternoon did not notice their passenger slip out of the car while they were stopped at traffic lights. Masut Halil, 54, was due to be deported for immigration offences when police took him for medical tests after he said he felt ill. The two police officers in the car will be subjected to an investigation. Halil is the fifth prisoner to elude authorities in the last 10 days after US murderer Peter Sedhom walked out of Athens’s Korydallos Prison last week and three Romanian convicts escaped from a Peloponnesian prison Sunday. BUSES DISRUPTED No service from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as drivers stage work stoppage Buses will not be running in Athens between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. today as drivers stage a five-hour work stoppage to coincide with Athens Urban Transport Organization employees’ union general assembly, where a new collective work contract and pension reform will top the agenda. AEGEAN Turkey accuses Greece of air violations Turkey today launches «Sea Wolf 2002,» combining navy and air force units for a series of exercises in the Sea of Marmara, the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean which will continue until June 17. Yesterday, Turkey’s general staff said six Greek fighter jets had violated national air space – off Turkey’s southwestern coast – three times on Tuesday, the day Ankara canceled its imminent annual «Ephesus» exercises in the Aegean in what was seen as a goodwill gesture to Greece. Those Marbles President Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday began a two-day visit to Melbourne with lawmakers of the Australian state of Victoria expressing their support for Greece’s campaign for the return of the British Museum’s Elgin Collection of sculptures from the Parthenon. The call for their return was made during a joint sitting of the state Parliament to welcome Stephanopoulos to Melbourne – home to more Greeks than any other city outside Greece. Cyprus waters Turkish-Cypriot authorities yesterday approved the extension of territorial waters around Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus to 12 miles – a move denounced as illegal by Greece. Patriarch in Albania Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios arrived in Tirana yesterday to meet Archbishop of Albania Anastasios, who is to accompany him to an environmental conference in the western port of Durres. The conference, whose theme is the protection of the Adriatic Sea, is the fourth such event organized by the patriarch. Defector jailed A 19-year-old Turkish-Cypriot army defector was sentenced by a Limassol court yesterday to one month in jail for illegally entering the Republic of Cyprus. Mehmet Bekir deserted his base in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus last Friday and presented himself to police in the south, telling them he could not bear army oppression. Silent Planet The owner of Planet radio station will meet protesting employees and Press Ministry officials tomorrow morning to resolve a salary dispute, Deputy Minister Telemachos Hytiris said yesterday after Michalis Androulidakis shut down his station’s transmitter to silence an on-air protest by 120 employees demanding three months’ unpaid wages. Staff of Planet and TV channel Tempo – both owned by Androulidakis – aired their grievances for the first time last week. Karamanlis Opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis met European Commission President Romano Prodi in Brussels yesterday. The two discussed Cyprus’s EU accession and illegal immigration. Joint action A proposal made by the Cypriot Foreign Ministry to Italian government representatives at last week’s EU meeting in Rome on illegal immigration provides for Italian vessels patrolling international waters in the Mediterranean and stopping ships carrying illegal immigrants, with the freedom to dock at Cypriot ports, reports said yesterday.