NEWS

In Brief

BIOLOGICAL WARFARE

Special military unit created to tackle possible attack A special military unit has been set up to tackle the eventuality of an attack using biological weapons during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, army doctors told a press conference yesterday ahead of an armed forces medical conference to be held in Thessaloniki next week. The special unit will comprise around 800 specialists. “The Greek army is fully prepared for defence in the case of attack with biological or chemical weapons,” Colonel Nikolaos Papayiannopoulos said. BALKANS European Commission seminar in London on organized crime Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis are among several ministers from Balkan and European Union states who have been invited to attend a European Commission seminar in London on November 26 on tackling organized crime in the Balkans, the British Embassy in Athens said yesterday. The seminar, an EC initiative organized under the auspices of the British Foreign and Home secretaries Jack Straw and David Blunkett, is to focus on the urgent need for combined action to curb crime in the Balkans and its impact on Europe. METRO MISHAP Road subsidence in Peristeri Panaghi Tsaldari Street in Peristeri, western Athens, was closed to traffic yesterday afternoon after it buckled inward due to underground Metro construction, but should have reopened by this morning, the Traffic Police said yesterday. The subsidence occurred between Thivon and Ravine streets. Peace marches Protest marches against proposed a US attack on Iraq will take place in Athens and Thessaloniki today. Both start at 6.30 p.m., at Syntagma Square in Athens and the Venizelos statue in Thessaloniki, to the US Embassy and Consulate, respectively. Mitsotakis on junta New Democracy has nothing to hide in connection with PASOK allegations of links between its members and the military dictatorship of 1967-74, the opposition party’s honorary chairman, Constantine Mitsotakis, told Parliament yesterday. «The dictatorship file has been closed, by us. But if you want to reopen it, we are ready to discuss this. I do not think ND will emerge tarnished,» Mitsotakis said. Before local government elections earlier this month, PASOK had accused ND of junta links. Euro sets Euro enthusiasts can obtain a special collector’s set of the new currency – comprising the Greek version of the euro and its seven subdenominations – from today at branches of the Bank of Greece, the bank said yesterday. A total of 50,000 sets are available at a cost of 16 euros for collectors in Greece, and 20 euros if sent abroad. Each collector can buy up to two sets. Those wanting more should approach the Finance Ministry. Migrants stopped Border guards in Xanthi yesterday arrested a Turkish man who tried to smuggle five Turkish immigrants – including his wife – through Greece to Germany. Mehmet Alp, 48, was en route to Munich with his wife Nasife and four other would-be migrants when guards stopped his car near the Nestos River at the border between the prefectures of Kavala and Xanthi. Alp has been charged with smuggling, the other five with illegal entry. Commissioner visit European Union Commissioner for Educational and Cultural Affairs Viviane Reding is to meet Athens 2004 President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki and Education Minister Petros Efthymiou today when she arrives in Athens for a two-day official visit. Pre-election spending A group of 22 PASOK and New Democracy deputies yesterday sought cross-party approval of strict provisions to curb the excessive campaign spending they claim characterized this month’s local government elections, to determine the origin of funds and to oblige candidates to justify all expenditure. Computer theft Eight brand-new computers have been stolen from a secondary school in Stavroupolis, near the northern town of Xanthi, police said yesterday.