In Brief

Aegean impasse

Turkish PM rebuffs reports of a breakthrough in talks Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday denied reports that progress has been made between Greek and Turkish diplomats on the thorny issue of the delineation of the continental shelf. «There has been no agreement on the issue of the 12 miles,» Erdogan said, referring to Ankara’s longstanding objections to Greece extending its territorial waters in the Aegean to 12 nautical miles. «The talks are continuing,» Erdogan said. «When an agreement is reached, both sides will make a joint statement, but there is nothing yet,» the Turkish PM added. Meanwhile Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that «notable progress» had been made in exploratory talks between Greek and Turkish officials. Western Balkans FM sees EU accession in 2018 Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said yesterday that the European Union could consider setting 2018 as a goal for countries in the Western Balkans to become members but that only countries that are fully ready should be allowed to join, Reuters reported. Greece would aim to seek consensus among EU member states for such a date when it assumes the EU’s rotating presidency in 2014, Droutsas told a seminar in Brussels on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers. Off guard A female police officer who had been part of Prime Minister George Papandreou’s security detail has been dismissed from her post after she allegedly left a bag containing her service weapon and a pass for the Maximos Mansion on her motorcycle, it emerged yesterday. According to sources, the bag was turned in to police by two youths who saw it unattended and looked inside. Police have launched an internal investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident, which occurred on November 5. New tollgates Motorists using the Egnatia Highway will face additional charges at six new tollgates set to open over the next three months, Kathimerini learned yesterday. The new toll stations are to open at the junctions of Igoumenitsa, Ioannina, Grevena, Nymfopetra, Paggaio and Komotini. A toll station at the junction of Polymylo, outside Kozani, opened on September 14. A spokesman for the company operating the tollgates on the Egnatia Highway said the charges would be about 25 percent lower than those on the Athens-Patra-Thessaloniki highway. Air gun attack Police in Thessaloniki yesterday were investigating an attack reported shortly after midnight on Sunday by a 34-year-old man who claimed to have been shot with an air gun. The man claims to have been shot at by one of a group of three assailants on the grounds of a former military facility in the suburb of Kalamaria. Corinth Canal The Corinth Canal is to close today to allow the removal of fallen rocks that are hindering the passage of vessels. Motorists will be able to able to cross the bridge over the canal as usual. US Embassy The US Embassy’s consular section in Athens will be closed tomorrow for internal administrative reasons, as is usual on the third Wednesday of every month.