NEWS

In Brief

GREEKS PRO-ENLARGEMENT

Majority want EU to grow despite risks but claim to be ill-informed, poll shows The Greeks are the most ardent supporters of European enlargement (after the Danes), although they believe this will increase unemployment and restrict Greece’s financial support from the EU, according to the results of a European Commission poll made public in Brussels yesterday. A total of 67 percent of Greeks favor enlargement, according to the survey conducted by the EC’s statistical service Eurobarometer between March and May in all 15 member-states. But 78 percent of Greeks claim to be inadequately informed about enlargement plans, the study shows. Also, Greek support for enlargement has fallen since spring 2001, when it stood at 74 percent. The poll also showed 89 percent of Greeks backing Cyprus’s entry to the EU, and only 20 percent backing Turkey’s entry. HALKI LOBBY Orthodox delegation from USA presses Turkish officials to reopen seminary A Greek Orthodox delegation from the USA yesterday reiterated demands for the reopening of an Orthodox theological school during a meeting with Turkish Foreign Ministry officials in Ankara. «I believe that Turks are very proud of being a people with religious tolerance,» National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew Antonis Lymberakis said after the meeting. The delegation is today due to visit Halki island (Heybeli in Turkish) where the seminary is located. Turkey is under increasing international pressure to reopen the school, which it closed in 1971. ROAD ACCIDENT Three young Albanians die in crash Three young Albanians were killed and one was injured near the village of Aigani, near the central town of Larissa, late on Sunday night after the car, which one of them was driving at excessive speed along the Athens-Thessaloniki highway, hurtled into a truck in front of them. Eduard Deba, 22, Alexander Nikoli, 23, and Albert Meta, 24, were pronounced dead on arrival at Larissa’s main hospital where Victor Dani, 17, was yesterday being treated for minor injuries. Stadium refurbishment AEK’s scheduled European Champions League match against Belgian side Racing Genk on October 30 will probably be the Athens soccer team’s final performance at its home ground, following its announcement yesterday that works on the Nea Philadelpheia stadium’s reconstruction are to begin next month. The project, estimated to cost around 60 million euros, will include the construction of a soccer field, 32,000-capacity audience seating, as well as a basketball and volleyball court. Most of the work is due to be completed by May 2004. Knife attack A 63-year-old man died early yesterday after being stabbed seven times in his liquor store in the Athens district of Kypseli by two unidentified assailants who first tried to rob him. Antonis Simitzis died in hospital just over an hour after being attacked. Iraqi migrants Police at the northwestern port of Igoumenitsa on Sunday arrested a Turk after discovering two Iraqi immigrants in his car (one in the passenger seat and one in the trunk), the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. Ahmet Hamdi Soylemez, 53, had been due to board a ferry to Italy, the ministry said. Also on Sunday, port authorities in Patras arrested Iranian national Arjmand Rahimo, 31, just before he boarded a ferry to Ancona with an Iraqi immigrant in his car, the ministry said. Both Soylemez and Rahimo have been charged with attempted human smuggling. Forgery ring Police in Athens believe they have broken a criminal ring supplying foreigners with forged passports – to help them travel to other European countries or secure residence permits in Greece – following the arrest of two Iranian nationals, officials said yesterday. Detectives tracked down Poor Nasiri, 33, and Poor Esfantiani, 32, through their links to a young foreign drug dealer. Archbishop’s name-day Dozens of clerics and believers visited Archbishop Christodoulos at his official residence in Athens yesterday to offer the prelate their best wishes on his name-day. Education Minister Petros Efthymiou also visited the archbishop. President Costis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis conveyed their regards over the telephone.