NEWS

In Brief

AIDS AWARENESS

Youngsters know the risks but think them of minor concern, survey shows Eight out of 10 young people believe they are aware of the risks of AIDS but even more (82.8 percent) say the risk is of little or no concern to them, according to the results of a survey of 15-25 year-olds made public at a press conference yesterday ahead of Monday’s UNICEF telethon for children with AIDS. Over half (52.1 percent) of those in a stable relationship and 38.8 percent of «unattached» young people do not regularly use condoms, according to the survey of 600 Attica households carried out by Kappa Research at the end of last month. Also, though 97.3 percent know the virus cannot be passed on by touch, 29.8 percent believe it can be caught from toilet seats, the survey said. There are 74 children infected with HIV in Greece. POLL ND ahead of PASOK by 6.1 pct, nationwide MRB survey finds A new poll, published yesterday, confirms opposition New Democracy (ND) party enjoys a wide – though narrowing – lead over the ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). The MRB Hellas poll puts ND at 38.5 percent and PASOK at 32.4 percent, a lead of 6.1 percent, down from 9.4 percent in June and 7.2 percent in September. Respondents also chose ND leader Costas Karamanlis over PM Costas Simitis (39.5 to 39.1 percent) as the best choice for prime minister. A poll by Metron Analysis, published on Tuesday, put ND’s lead at 7 percentage points (39.2 to 32.2 percent), but showed Simitis as the respondents’ preferred choice. WATER WOES Reserves low despite heavy rain The country’s water reserves remain low despite recent heavy rainfall which mostly fell over Attica and was lost out to sea, the Athens Water Company (EYDAP) said yesterday. The fact that national reservoirs are holding 529.6 million cubic meters of water this year – 200 million cubic meters more than last year – is not encouraging, said EYDAP, noting that its reservoirs held 965 million cubic meters of water in 1985 – nearly twice this year’s amount. Dafermos Greece’s former privacy watchdog chief, Constantinos Dafermos – who clashed with the Church after recommending the abolition of the religious belief slot on identity cards – was yesterday appointed general inspector for public administration by the Cabinet. Security strike? Police, fire service and port authority staff will abandon their duties in protest action on December 17 unless the government meets their demands, unionists warned yesterday ahead of their scheduled meeting with the public order and economy ministers next Wednesday. Protesters are demanding the same bonus as that paid to armed forces staff. They also want the danger inherent in their professions to be officially acknowledged. Roadwork Drivers passing Halandri Metro station on Plakentias Avenue – in the direction of Athens Airport – will have to follow a brief diversion from today due to construction works at the station, Attiko Metro said yesterday. Traffic signs will lead drivers along the diversion, via Velouchio and Grevena streets, it said. Cox in Athens European Parliament President Pat Cox is to arrive in Athens on Monday to discuss EU enlargement with Prime Minister Costas Simitis ahead of the Union’s crucial summit in Copenhagen later next week. Railway works Works on broadening the platforms at the Moschato and Kallithea urban railway stations are to be delayed due to significant archaeological discoveries during excavation, the management of the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railway (ISAP) announced yesterday. It did not say how long the delay would be. Olympic volunteers Athens 2004 (ATHOC) organizing committee President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki yesterday thanked the over 47,000 people who have applied to be Olympic Games volunteers. Speaking on official World Volunteer Day, ATHOC’s chief said the 2004 Games were an ideal opportunity for voluntary contribution, which exists in times of war and disaster, but also in times of peace and celebration.