NEWS

In Brief

NIMETZ VISIT

UN mediator poised for trips to Athens and Skopje this month United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz is likely to visit the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece between February 23 and 26, sources said yesterday. Nimetz, who is presiding over negotiations aimed at settling the long-running name dispute between the two countries, is due to visit Skopje first and then Athens. Nimetz will aim to revive talks, which have been stalled for the last five months even though the prime ministers and foreign ministry officials of both countries have held brief talks on the issue on the sidelines of other meetings. FIERY NIGHT Series of arson attacks in capital Unidentified arsonists destroyed a convenience store and several cars in different parts of Athens yesterday but no injuries were reported. The first attack targeted a vehicle in the central district of Exarchia shortly before midnight. The vandals doused the car with petrol and set it alight. The same method was used in the second attack, in the northern district of Vyronas, to torch another car. At 12.30 a.m. a large fire broke out at a convenience store in the western district of Aegaleo. Then, shortly before 6 a.m., arsonists targeted another car in Aghioi Anargyroi, northwestern Athens. A similar attack on Monday night, using gas canisters, caused significant damage to a supermarket in the northern suburb of Nea Erythraia. ESR downpour The state broadcasting watchdog National Television and Radio Council (ESR) yesterday imposed a 70,000-euro fine on Star channel after deciding that the TV station’s weatherperson, Petroula Kostidou, was harming the quality of programming and insulting human dignity. Petroula is a household celebrity, known for presenting the weather in skimpy outfits and gyrating provocatively in front of the cameras. Star TV was also fined 30,000 euros for dramatizing events in one of its news shows. Kite warning The Public Power Corporation (PPC) yesterday urged people to exercise care when taking part in the traditional kite-flying on Clean Monday that marks the start of Lent, and to refrain from trying to dislodge any kites that get caught up in overhead power lines. PPC said that if a kite becomes trapped, people should call the company’s faults line or their local police station. Register sacking The director of Ktimatologio SA, the state-run company responsible for creating Greece’s first comprehensive land register, was sacked yesterday. Source said that Costas Kyriazis was deemed responsible for the delays in drawing up the cadastre as well as infighting among company employees. Turkish violations Turkish fighter jets yesterday violated Greek air space in the Aegean for the first time this year, Greek defense officials said. The violations, which occurred shortly before 10 a.m., were carried out by four F-16s and four F-4s which entered Greek air space north of the island of Samos. According to the officials, the F-4s broke off from the formation and conducted a low flight over the islet of Farmakonisi. The Turkish aircraft were chased off by Greek planes. The Greek Embassy in Ankara lodged an official complaint.