NEWS

In Brief

Foreign diplomacy

Premier slams antagonistic tactics of FYROM and Turkey Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday told Parliament that Greece had «done its bit» in United Nations-backed efforts aimed at solving the name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The premier said the road to European Union and NATO membership would remain closed to Skopje if it continues to antagonize Athens. Karamanlis also acknowledged that there had been an increase in air-space violations by Turkey in the Aegean and condemned Ankara for failing to honor a bilateral pact on the repatriation of illegal immigrants. Opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou spoke of the government’s «total failure in foreign policy.» Extremist’s apppeal ‘Periandros’ gets reduced term An Athens appeals court yesterday reduced from 21 years to 12 years the jail sentence of a prominent member of the extreme-right Chrysi Avgi group for the attempted murder of left-wing student Dimitris Kousouris, who was seriously injured in an attack at a cafe outside the capital’s main court complex in June 1998. Antonios Androutsopoulos, better known as Periandros, was cleared of charges of attempted murder against two other students. Right-wing supporters of the defendants and leftists scuffled outside the court following the verdict, which means that Androutsopoulos will be be up for parole at the end of the year. Funds probe An investigation into the finances of the Church of Greece’s nongovernmental organization Solidarity has revealed that 13 million euros are missing, sources revealed yesterday. The development came one day after a senior cleric at the Bishopric of Attica sent Archbishop Ieronymos his resignation in protest at a decision by the Holy Synod not to make the jailed former bishop of Attica, Panteleimon, face a Church court. Young dealer Police in central Athens yesterday were questioning a minor allegedly involved in a local drug-dealing ring after finding some 150 grams of heroin in his possession. According to police the boy, whose age was not revealed, had been leaving packages of drugs in an abandoned building for collection by his 28-year-old uncle who is alleged to have subsequently sold the drugs to users. Abbot remanded The abbot of Aghia Skepi Monastery in Keratea, east of Athens, was remanded in custody yesterday after testifying on charges of sexually abusing at least 10 novice monks over the last two decades. The 68-year-old was taken into custody after four men aged 18 to 34 told police that the monk repeatedly abused them between 1988 and 2007 while they were at the monastery. The abbot reportedly denied the charges, claiming to have been framed. Laser convictions A Thessaloniki court yesterday handed down suspended jail sentences to a 21-year-old employee of a private firm and a 20-year-old female student found guilty of using a laser pointer to distract motorists on a country road outside the northern city. The pair had been shining the laser pointer from a flyover at motorists using the road beneath them, the court heard.