NEWS

In Brief

ROAD TAX

Charges to rise by up to 12.5 pct, stickers on sale from November 1 Road tax charges for next year will be up to12.5 percent higher, the Economy and Finance Ministry said yesterday. Road tax stickers for 2003 can be bought from most major banks from November 1 until the end of the year – and from tax offices in December. Charges will range from 13 euros for cars and motorcycles with an engine size of up to 300cc to 420 euros for 2,358cc and above. Charges for trucks, according to gross weight, range between 51 euros for up to 1,500 kilograms and 1,027 euros for 40,001 kilograms and above. Fines for drivers caught without a valid tax sticker will be 30 euros for engines up to 785cc, and as much as the corresponding road tax for above 785cc. Offenders will then also have to buy the stickers from tax offices. Bali terror Two Greek-Australians dead, at least another four missing Two Greek Australians are among the more than 180 people killed in the terrorist attack in Bali on Saturday,and at least four more are missing, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. Confirmed dead are 29-year-old Dave Mavroudis and David Mahairidis. Missing are Dimitra Kotronaki, 27, her sister Elisavet Kotronaki, 33, their cousin Louisa Zervou, 33, and Christina Betmalik, 29. They had been accompanying the Kotronaki sisters’ sister Maria on her honeymoon. Ioannis Kalligas of Greece was injured and a Greek-Swede was missing. REPATRIATING MIGRANTS Greek officials in Turkey A delegation of high-ranking representatives from the Foreign Affairs, Merchant Marine, Interior and Public Order ministries is due in Ankara today for two days of talks with Turkish officials on the effectiveness of cooperation between the two countries to repatriate illegal immigrants trying to enter Greece from Turkey. The two countries agreed in June to implement a joint protocol aimed at curbing illegal immigration. Fuel strike Gas stations across the country will close on November 11, the National Federation of Fuel Traders decided yesterday in a reaction to the government’s refusal of their demand that petrol storage facilities should be sealed to dissuade would-be smugglers. Fuel traders threatened to extend the strike if the government fails to satisfy their demands. Schools shut Primary and secondary schools in the country’s municipalities and prefectures where repeat elections are to be held this weekend will be closed on Friday and Monday, the Education Ministry said. Bust to Alexandria Greece is donating an 87-centimetre bronze bust of Alexander the Great, founder of Alexandria, by Greek sculptor Yiannis Pappas to the Egyptian coastal city’s ultramodern new library being inaugurated today, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said yesterday. Fifty world leaders, including Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos, are to attend the opening. Journalists expelled Fourteen Spanish journalists were expelled from Turkish-held northern Cyprus on Monday on the grounds that they misled officials and held unauthorized meetings, Turkish-Cypriot press reports said yesterday. The group, including El Pais Chief Editor Xavier Vidal, was escorted out of the offices of leading newspaper Kibris by police, and sent back to the island’s south. Turkish-Cypriot authorities charged that the journalists concealed the reasons for their visit. ‘No bugging.’ There is no evidence to back allegations that Cyprus’s former chief of police tapped the telephone calls of government ministers, Cypriot Justice Minister Alecos Shambos said yesterday at the conclusion of a two-week investigation into press claims against Andreas Angelides. Cypriot police have the equipment to tap telephone calls, Shambos said, adding, however, that it would not be possible to provide witnesses or material proof of phone tapping. Angelides resigned at the end of last month amid a customs fraud scandal. Exercise thwarted A military exercise by British troops on the Xilofagos firing range near Larnaca, southeastern Cyprus, was called off yesterday after protesting local residents hampered proceedings by blocking off nearby roads. Protesters say farmers cannot get to their fields.