NEWS

In Brief

TURKISH PLANESPOTTER?

Man charged with espionage over photos of Lemnos restricted area A 54-year-old Turk will appear in court on Lesvos tomorrow on espionage charges in Lesvos, following his arrest on nearby Lemnos on Friday after residents saw him taking photographs of military installations near the village of Kallithea. Police confiscated 57 rolls of film from Murat Mehmet Pekinel, who reportedly holds a temporary German passport. Pekinel, who was also carrying several maps of Greece, claimed the photos were for his personal use. ARMY CONSCRIPTS Eight-month service after 2006? Conscripts joining the armed forces after 2006 will probably serve no more than eight months instead of the current maximum 17, Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said in an interview on state TV yesterday. Terms of service will start shortening as of the beginning of next year when army, air force and navy service will stand at 12, 14, and 15 months respectively, Papantoniou told NET TV, explaining that the aim was for at least half the armed forces to be staffed by professionals in 2005. Church ‘unbiased.’ The Church of Greece «is entirely unbiased over the matter of local government and in its general political stance,» a spokesman for Archbishop Christodoulos said yesterday in response to press speculation on the implications of the fierce criticism of the Church voiced in the past by New Democracy’s candidate for the Athens-Piraeus prefecture, Yiannis Tzannetakos. «The Church has always held itself at an equal distance from all political parties and adopted the same stance toward those who seek to defile it,» he added. In a sermon later yesterday, Christodoulos said the Church «honors those who honor it and forgives those who fight it.» Rimini remembered Deputy Defense Minister Lazaros Lotidis yesterday paid his respects at the graves of the 117 Greek officers and men who died during the WWII Battle of Rimini in 1944 during a ceremony at the Greek Military Cemetery near the town of Riccione, southwest of Rimini. Lotidis’s Italian counterpart and 15 survivors of the Third Greek Mountain Brigade also attended. – Agriculture Council of the Netherlands in Greece in cooperation with the National Food Inspection Agency (EFET) hold a seminar on «Food Safety.» At the Athens Plaza Hotel in Athens. For further information, tel 010.725.4960.