In Brief


Papandreou holds brief meeting with FYROM leader in Brussels Prime Minister George Papandreou and Nikola Gruevski, his counterpart from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), met on the sidelines of a European Union summit in Brussels yesterday. It was the first meeting between the two since Papandreou took over as premier and the first meeting between prime ministers of the two countries since March 2006. Papandreou is reported to have told Gruevski Athens will support FYROM’s bid to join the EU as long as the name dispute between the two countries is resolved. The Greek premier reportedly told his counterpart Greece will only accept a name with a geographical qualifier that FYROM will use in all international dealings. Frontex patrols Barrot rebuffs Turkish claims European Commission Vice President Jacques Barrot yesterday declared that aircraft participating in patrols organized by the European Union’s border-monitoring agency Frontex have never violated Turkish air space. Barrot was responding to a question submitted by a group of New Democracy MEPs prompted by a series of radar warnings sent to Frontex aircraft carrying out anti-migration patrols along the Greek-Turkish sea border. The agency has appealed to EU candidate member Turkey to cooperate with air and sea patrols in order to curb human trafficking. Mountain rescue Rescue workers yesterday located a Swedish national reported missing on Wednesday afternoon after he went climbing on the slopes of Mount Taygettus, in the Peloponnese. The man was transferred to the hospital for treatment of the injuries he suffered during a fall, which were not believed to be serious. The large-scale rescue effort, involving dozens of rescue workers and local residents, was coordinated by regional fire service chiefs. Thessaloniki chase Three suspects spotted by police in a mechanical crane on a side road off the Egnatia Highway in northern Greece yesterday jumped out of the vehicle at a police signal, jumped into a car parked nearby and fled, police said. At one point during the chase that ensued, the suspects stopped the car and reversed into the police patrol vehicle, immobilizing it, before fleeing, police said. A subsequent search of the abandoned crane turned up several tools usually favored by burglars. Police said the suspects might have been planning to steal a bank ATM. Church robbers Police in Thessaloniki yesterday detained two robbers, both aged 31, believed to have stolen a bag and other valuables from a church near the city center during a service on Wednesday. The robbers also took a cell phone and various other personal items from worshippers, according to police, who traced the perpetrators based on descriptions given by churchgoers. Immigrants intercepted A group of 10 illegal immigrants were detained in Evros, northern Greece, yesterday after police chased a car being driven by their suspected smuggler. The driver managed to elude arrest. Meanwhile a prosecutor in Orestiada, near the Bulgarian border, detained four suspected smugglers and 10 would-be migrants following inspections on two vehicles.