NEWS

In Brief

LESPEROGLOU TRIAL

Document says defense lawyer asked Jordanian to take blame for shooting The alleged written testimony of a Jordanian man, claiming to have been asked to take the blame for the 1982 shooting of a policeman in central Athens, was submitted yesterday in the appeals court hearing of left-wing activist Avraam Lesperoglou, who is on trial for the officer’s attempted murder. The document, delivered by the police’s anti-terrorist squad, stated that one of Lesperoglou’s lawyers made the request of the Jordanian two years ago. The document’s phrasing was reminiscent of the secret services, Lesperoglou’s lawyer said. Synaspismos Left Coalition party MP Panayiotis Lafazanis yesterday testified that the charges against Lesperoglou were «unfair.» UNIVERSITY STRIKE Professors say they will let exams start if government meets 5 demands Striking university academic staff decided late yesterday to call off their action provided the government takes immediate action to satisfy five of their demands on intermediary measures toward increasing their salaries and improving their retirement schemes. If the strike is lifted, students will be able to sit exams that should have started at the end of August. Education Minister Petros Efthymiou is expected to discuss the matter with union representatives today. NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCHES Bakoyianni pledges better security Three in four Athenians fear that crime is on the increase, New Democracy’s mayoral candidate for Athens, Dora Bakoyianni, observed yesterday before outlining a security program she said would make make citizens feel safer in their capital. The municipal police force would be boosted to 700 officers who would be given extra duties, and a «neighborhood watch» system – where citizens cooperate with police to crack down on crime – would be implemented, Bakoyianni promised. IKA strike Social Security Foundation (IKA) doctors yesterday postponed until September 25 a five-day national strike due to begin on Monday in a strategic move which relieved them of the obligation to face IKA managers in court. Yesterday’s hearing had been due to focus on an appeal by IKA managers for an injunction on the scheduled strike but was called off after unionists announced the deferment of their action. Cyprus talks Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday met again in Nicosia in their first encounter since a joint meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Paris last Friday. Annan has asked both leaders to continue negotiations with a «sense of urgency» ahead of another meeting with him in New York on October 3 and 4. German reparations A Greek group representing relatives of victims killed in Nazi atrocities and a German support group yesterday held a joint press conference in Athens where they reiterated their demands that Germany provide compensation to families of Greeks killed by German occupation troops during World War II. Leftist resistance hero Manolis Glezos, who heads the National Council for Claiming German Debts, said Germany «has a moral duty to the victims of Nazism.» The groups are to submit a joint petition to the UN Court of Human Rights. Museum visits Visitors to Greece’s museums and archaeological sites rose by 2.9 percent year-on-year in May – the first month of the summer season – but there was a 19.4-percent fall in paying visitors, according to the National Statistics Service. A total of 1.2 million Greeks and foreigners visited the country’s 109 museums and 75 archaeological sites in May compared to 1.16 million in the same month last year, the service said. Maltese president Maltese President Guido de Marco arrived in Athens yesterday for talks on his country’s EU accession plans following an official visit to fellow EU accession candidate Cyprus. Jerusalem visit Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis is due to arrive in Jerusalem today for a three-day visit during which he will attend an official ceremony marking one year since the enthronement of Orthodox Patriarch Irenaios of Jerusalem – whose election Israel refuses to acknowledge.