NEWS

In Brief

FLIGHT SAFETY

Commission warns Greece to adopt EU standards or face court The European Commission yesterday sent Greece a stern warning to adopt European Union standards regarding passenger aircraft maintenance or face legal action. The «reasoned opinion» – one step away from taking the matter up with the European Court – accuses the Civil Aviation Authority of inadequate adoption of EU quality controls on aircraft maintenance units functioning in Greece. The controls were first adopted in 1991. The Commission can take the Greek government to court if no action is taken within two months. FERRIES Strike’s end opened way for Pentecost holiday exodus A four-day sailors’ strike which ended last Friday did not deter large numbers of passengers and cars traveling to and from the port of Piraeus over the three-day holiday weekend, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. According to its figures for the period between Saturday and Monday, a total of 80,723 passengers left Piraeus for the islands and 63,059 arrived. Also, 7,673 vehicles rolled onto ferries leaving Piraeus and 5,195 arrived. PUBLISHER WANTED Unpaid employee presses charges An Athens prosecutor yesterday issued an arrest warrant for publisher Michalis Androulidakis after one of the latter’s staff, who has not received his wages for months, pressed charges against him. Androulidakis, who owns Tempo TV channel, Planet radio station and Ependytis weekly newspaper, faces charges of non-payment of dues. Recent rumors that the Androulidakis group has been selling off its assets are being investigated, government spokesman Christos Protopappas said yesterday. Earlier this month, Androulidakis agreed to pay staff outstanding wages following journalists’ repeated on-air protests. IKA action Social Security Foundation (IKA) clinics will be operating on skeleton staff once again tomorrow, as IKA doctors stage the last in a series of seven 24-hour strikes this month. Protesters demanding permanency for 5,500 colleagues on short-term contracts are due to stage a protest at 10.30 a.m. tomorrow at Kaningos Square in central Athens. They have warned of more strike action next month. Resurrection deaths A Thessaloniki court yesterday handed down two life sentences to a drug addict who fatally shot an 11-year-old boy and a 47-year-old man during last year’s Easter celebrations in the village of Karitsa in the northern prefecture of Pieria. Apostolos Yiannoulis, 38, told the court he had not been aiming at schoolboy Giorgos Karayiannis and shopkeeper Dimitris Stoupas when he fired several shots from the porch of his house, 20 meters from the village churchyard where the victims had joined other churchgoers for a service to celebrate the Resurrection. Heroin ring Police yesterday arrested a Tunisian, an Egyptian and an Albanian near central Omonia Square after posing as potential customers for half a kilo of heroin. Imed Karkeni, Amead Mekael and Costas Souliotis are believed to have formed a ring trading in large quantities of heroin in Athens. Feta copyright Greece’s bid for exclusive rights to the name of feta for cheese will be the priority of Agriculture Minister Giorgos Drys when he meets his EU counterparts in Luxembourg today. An agreement reached by EU officials earlier this month now needs the approval of Drys’s fellow EU ministers. The EU’s commissioner for agriculture, Franz Fischler, is due to table a proposal awarding Greece the feta copyright next month. Acid trip Customs officials at Thessaloniki airport yesterday seized 451 tabs of LSD concealed within several computer floppy disks after searching the bags of a Dutchman with a Greek name. Constantinos Seremidis, 33, had arrived at the northern city on a flight from Amsterdam via Budapest. Ambassador The new Greek ambassador to the USA, Giorgos Savvaides, arrived in Washington yesterday, replacing Alexandre Philon who completed his four-year term earlier this month. Savvaides has 30 years of diplomatic experience, 12 of which were in NATO posts.