NEWS

In Brief

TANKER THREAT

Greek-owned ship with 77,000 tons of fuel in danger off Spanish coast A Greek-owned petrol tanker carrying 77,000 metric tons of fuel oil was in danger of sinking in gale-force winds off Cape Finisterre on Spain’s northwestern coast late yesterday after listing dangerously to starboard, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. By late last night, Spanish rescue teams had taken 24 of the 27 officers and crew off the Bahamas-flagged Prestige – managed by Athens-based Universal Maritime Ltd – but the Greek captain, Apostolos Magouras, and first engineer Nikolaos Argyropoulos remained on board. They were in good health, the ministry said. According to the Spanish government, a rescue helicopter had spotted traces of oil around the tanker, prompting fears of a spill that could cause an ecological disaster. ACROPOLIS MUSEUM Court throws out suspension bid, clears way for foundation works Greece’s highest administrative court has rejected a bid by inhabitants of the Makriyianni district, under the Acropolis in central Athens, to suspend work on the new Acropolis Museum due to alleged damage being wreaked on antiquities found on the building plot. In a decision made public yesterday, the Council of State ruled that the plaintiffs’ arguments were unfounded, but noted that, should new antiquities be found, works must stop. This clears the way for work to start on the foundations for the building, which is scheduled for completion in mid-2004. On December 6, the court will hear an appeal for the work to be scrapped. AEGEAN TENSION Turks say Greeks buzzed their plane The Turkish General Staff said yesterday that two Greek F16 fighter jets had harassed a Turkish military aircraft, a CN 235, while it was on patrol south of the island of Rhodes on Monday. The announcement said it had informed the Turkish Foreign Ministry of the «negative consequences» the harassment of the plane could have. Last Thursday, Turkish fighters buzzed Greek and Cypriot passenger jets near Rhodes. Roussel The Supreme Court yesterday rejected an appeal by Thierry Roussel, father of Greek heiress Athina Onassis-Roussel, to have a 42-month defamation sentence quashed. Roussel was convicted for claiming that four members of the Athens-based Onassis Foundation had embezzled Foundation funds. He has the option of buying off the sentence. Eleftheros Typos The editor of the conservative Eleftheros Typos daily, Giorgos Kyrtsos, was sacked yesterday, reportedly in connection with the paper’s poor financial results. Kyrtsos claimed his dismissal was due to pressure from New Democracy Chairman Costas Karamanlis after the paper criticized the conservatives’ choice of nominee for the Athens-Piraeus super-prefecture in last month’s local elections. Cypriot archbishop Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus made his first public appearance yesterday since his September 25 return from Athens, where he spent five months in the hospital undergoing treatment for head and vertebrae fractures sustained following a fall in May. Clearly weakened, and supported by relatives and staff, the archbishop attended a church service in Nicosia and received Holy Communion on the occasion of his name day. NATO Deputy Defense Minister Loukas Apostolidis and Turkish Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu yesterday expressed their countries’ full support for Bulgaria and Romania to be invited to join NATO at a summit in Prague next week. The four countries’ defense ministers were attending the third session of the Quadripartite Meeting «2+2» in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv. Immigrants Coast guard officers picked up four illegal immigrants, all Iranian, on the island of Chios yesterday morning. The four said they had arrived on the island from Cesme, Turkey, in a wooden motor boat. School of butchery Nearly all butchers in eastern Macedonia and Thrace are to attend a course leading to a certificate required by the European Union in order for them to obtain a license to work. The school for butchers, situated in the northern Greek town of Serres, will also be attended by abattoir workers.