NEWS

In Brief

Athens University authorities yesterday warned some 50 students who are occupying part of its student housing complex in Zografou to move out by the end of this week or face a prosecutor. The protesting residents, who have been occupying the building since the start of the last academic year, are fighting plans to devote the space to visitors to Athens during next year’s Olympic Games. Students had refused an offer by university authorities to give them a monthly rent subsidy of 352 euros if they moved out. N17 blackmail Publisher to be charged with seeking cash on pain of terror group killing Journalist and author Grigoris Michalopoulos, who publishes the far right-wing daily Eleftheri Ora, will be charged with blackmail, attempted blackmail and attempted fraud following an investigation into claims he extorted money from industrialists and senior members of the clergy, according to a senior prosecutor’s decision yesterday. Michalopoulos allegedly claimed to be able to remove his victims from the November 17 hit list. WINTER SALES Bargains end today Today is the last day of the winter sales at stores. Yesterday, retailers’ associations ruled out any extension of the sales period. Storm costs Damage wreaked on the agricultural sector and road infrastructure by recent bad weather is estimated at around 600 million euros, Deputy Economy Minister Christos Pachtas said yesterday, but added that the assessment of lost farm animals and crops is not yet complete, therefore the amount needed to replace them is still unclear. A total of 70 million euros has been allocated to repair damage to municipal water and sewage networks, 120 million euros for road damage (not including an extra 100 million euros for damage on the Tripolis-Kalamata-Corinth route), and 60 million euros for damage to farmland, Pachtas said. Legalizing illegality Illegally constructed buildings are to be incorporated onto official town plans under legislation expected to be tabled in Parliament this year, government sources said after the voter-friendly matter was discussed during a Cabinet meeting yesterday. No credit State-insured patients will have to start paying full price for medicine subsidized by the government from the end of March – instead of tomorrow, as initially proposed – the country’s pharmacists decided yesterday, saying the State owed them a total of 58,700 euros for medication. Patients will be able to reclaim the normally subsidized amount of the price of the medicine from the State one month after its purchase, using their receipt, unionists said. No Patriots Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou denied yesterday that Greece will be supplying Turkey with Patriot air defense missiles to boost its military resources ahead of a possible war Iraq, following a session of the Government Council on Foreign Policy and Defense. Police violence? Police in Drama have refused to comment on allegations by a 38-year-old motorist from the northern town that he was beaten by officers from the local police department early on Tuesday morning, the Athens News Agency said yesterday. Restaurant owner Nikolaos Fylaktos claimed that officers handcuffed him and took him to a detention center after he refused to take an alcohol test early on Tuesday morning, where they allegedly beat him. Fylaktos’s lawyer said her client – who has an injured eye and bruises all over his body – will press charges. Slogan crime A misdemeanors court yesterday postponed until March 13 the hearing of three young members of the Greek branch of the European Social Forum, arrested on Wednesday for writing anti-war slogans on main roads in the center of Patras. Teachers’ rally Primary and secondary school teachers and university professors are to participate in a protest rally starting at 1 p.m. in central Syntagma Square today, seeking more state funding for education.