NEWS

In Brief

PASOK COMMITTEE

Papandreou names first party body since his re-election as leader PASOK leader George Papandreou did not name any of the supporters of the two candidates that stood against him for the party presidency among the members of the secretariat of the congress coordinating committee. Instead, he named supporters Christos Polyzogopoulos, Fofi Gennimata, Mimis Androulakis and Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou as the new members of the committee late on Sunday. Tomorrow Papandreou is due to name the members of the coordinating body that will formulate PASOK's policies and tactics while in opposition. TEACHER PROTEST Marches in Athens, Thessaloniki to oppose plans for pension reform Some 2,000 schoolteachers and university lecturers staged protest marches in central Athens and Thessaloniki yesterday to protest pension reforms and demand more funding for the country's education system and higher salaries. Both events passed peacefully as teachers demanded that the government spend 5 percent of Greece's GDP on education and that teachers be paid a starting salary of 1,400 euros. Cannabis coup Two tons seized on Albanian border Two tons of cannabis destined for Greece were intercepted by Albanian police at the Kakavia border crossing yesterday. The drugs, with a street value of around 2 million euros, were packed into 85 large bags and hidden in the secret compartment of a truck. The 50-year-old Albanian driver and another man, who was not identified, were arrested. Spy returns Greek spy Steven Lalas, who returned to Greece on Sunday after being in US custody since 1993, told SKAI TV yesterday that he was first approached by Greek intelligence officers in 1977. (Page 3) Park talks Plans for the Hellenikon metropolitan park in southern Athens were distributed to 33 parties, including municipalities and experts, for talks yesterday, the Environment Ministry said. The completion of the project could take up to 15 years. The construction of the park will be divided into five stages, with the first trees being planted in about 20 months. The ministry did not specify, however, when it expects the park to be open to visitors. Prisoners escape Two Albanian men being detained at a police station on the island of Lesvos escaped early on Sunday by crawling through an air duct, police said yesterday. The two men, identified as Niko Gsesar and Bardhul Toca, escaped through the duct measuring 20 cm by 65 cm, after removing its protective grill. Police have launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the escape of the two prisoners who were being held in connection with drug offenses. Passengers die Two passengers died on separate passenger ferries on Sunday despite the presence of staff doctors on board in both cases, authorities said yesterday. A 46-year-old man died on the Olympic Champion, which had just left the port of Hania, Crete. A second male passenger, aged 42, died on the Preveli as the ferry departed the port of Rethymnon, Crete. Authorities attributed both deaths to heart problems. Champions League Olympiakos takes on Lazio in Rome tomorrow night in a crucial Champions League Group C match. The Piraeus team needs a draw to keep alive its hopes of a berth in the prestigious competition's next stage, the Round of 16. Olympiakos and Lazio are tied in second place with five points apiece, two rounds before the end of group play. Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid leads the group, three points ahead. The top two teams advance to the next stage.

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