NEWS

In Brief

MASSACRE – New lawsuit over Distomo reparations Relatives of Greek villagers massacred by German World War II occupation forces have filed a new lawsuit seeking the annulment of two Athens appeals court decisions that overturned previous rulings in favor of the auction of German cultural institutes in Athens to cover their bid for compensation from Berlin. Over 200 relatives of the 214 Distomo villagers executed in June 1944 have requested 9.4 billion drachmas in compensation from Germany, and are seeking the confiscation and auction of the German Archaeological Institute at Athens and the Goethe Institut. Berlin has refused to pay, arguing that it has already given Greece all the WWII reparations it had to. MARRIAGE Wedding troubles The European Court of Human Rights has ruled on principle in favor of a Turkish-Cypriot citizen who wants Nicosia to allow Turkish Cypriots the right to wed by civil marriage, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. Kemal Selim wanted to marry a Romanian Orthodox woman in free Cyprus, but was unable to as Cypriot legislation does not provide for such a case. Nicosia’s lawyers argued that a draft law on the matter has already been tabled in Parliament, prompting the court to postpone its final ruling until after the bill’s vote. Diplomats stop strike. Greek diplomats agreed by a narrow majority on Saturday to call off a strike they started on September 24 in the light of developments in Central Asia. The union said that under the present circumstances, silence and inaction by Greek diplomats would make them share responsibility for the degradation of the country’s foreign policy body. It added that it would discuss further action later this month. Diplomats want better pay, a demand which the government says it cannot satisfy this year. Orthodox and ‘heretics.’ A group of 50 Orthodox clerics has written to the Church of Greece’s ruling body, the Holy Synod, demanding that, in its session tomorrow, it discuss the black page in Greek history of the Pope’s visit to Athens in May. The clerics called upon the Synod to set the troubled people at peace with a decision that states the Holy Fathers’ steady belief that the Latins are heretics and their baptisms and other religious ceremonies are invalid.