Defense officials to respond to risk of multiple quakes in computer exercise A simulated response in the event of a series of virtually simultaneous earthquakes in the Balkan region is to be played out on computers by defense officials in 10 countries in a 10-day training program beginning today. The South Eastern Europe Simulation exercise was formulated at a European Defense Ministers’ summit two years ago in Thessaloniki. The USA, Turkey, Italy and several Balkan states will participate in the exercise from simulation centers in their capitals. Deputy Defense Minister Loukas Apostolides will launch the exercise in Athens. 600-YEAR CANDIDATE ‘European for 600 years,’ Turkey is crucial for EU’s prosperity, Ecevit says Turkey deserves to enter the European Union «as it has been a European country for 600 years,» Turkish Premier Bulent Ecevit was quoted as saying in his country’s press yesterday. The EU cannot prosper without Turkey, Ecevit said. The same press reports quoted Deputy Premier Mesut Yilmaz as saying that Europe is incapable of solving the Cyprus problem, and curbing clashes on the island, without Turkey within its ranks. RAILWAY WORKS Trains won’t stop at Nea Ionia Piraeus-bound trains on the Athens urban electric railway (ISAP) will not be stopping at Nea Ionia station from tomorrow due to construction works. Piraeus-bound passengers wanting to disembark at Nea Ionia should get off one stop later at Perissos and return to Nea Ionia on a Kifissia-bound train. Passengers at Nea Ionia wanting to travel to Piraeus should get a Kifissia-bound train to Neo Iraklion and board a Piraeus-bound train from there. Weather damage. Dozens of homes, businesses and agricultural plots in the northern regions of Drama, Kavala and Xanthi were flooded following Sunday night’s heavy rainfall which continued yesterday. Parts of Drama were badly hit after a river broke its banks and flooded homes and warehouses. Farmers in Kavala yesterday appealed for compensation assessment following the flooding of hundreds of hectares of agricultural land in the region. The Kavala fire service had to rescue one elderly farmer who had become trapped in his waterlogged sheepfold. Cyprus visit The head of the joint chiefs of staff, Lieutenant General Giorgos Antonakopoulos, starts a three-day official visit to Cyprus today. He is due to be briefed on the activities of the Cypriot National Guard and to meet Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and other senior politicians. He returns to Greece on Thursday. Justice summit Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis is due in Luxembourg today to participate in a summit of EU justice ministers. The agenda of talks includes asylum and immigration and the fight against terrorism and the role of Europol. A joint proposal on how to protect the drivers of commercial vehicles from violent attacks will also be discussed. Bomb A car belonging to the outgoing mayor of Halandri, northern Athens, Constantinos Pattakos, was destroyed early on Sunday morning following the detonation of a homemade explosive device planted under the vehicle. Pattakos had not stood in Sunday’s elections. An anonymous caller told the Eleftherotypia daily that the «Revolutionary Liberation Action» group had carried out the attack. Red Cross The Greek Red Cross begins a two-month training program for volunteer workers next month. The training sessions will take place on Mondays and Thursdays between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m at the organization’s central offices in Athens. Prospective volunteers should telephone 010.360.4678 or 010.363.7554. Bayeux Prize Reuters photographer Yiannis Behrakis has won the Bayeux Prize for War Correspondents, an annual competition honoring journalists covering armed conflicts around the world, the agency said yesterday. Behrakis, a 42-year-old Athenian, won the Prix du Public prize in the photo category for his pictures of the liberation of Kabul from the Taleban in November 2001. He has won several international awards for his coverage of wars in the Gulf, the former Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Somalia, Sierre Leone and Afghanistan.