NEWS

In Brief

Most municipal and public services across Attica will be closed next Wednesday, when the accession agreements of 10 new European Union members – including Cyprus – are to be signed in the archaeological site of the ancient Agora in central Athens, the Interior Ministry confirmed yesterday declaring April 16 a public holiday for Attica civil servants. But crucial services such as state hospitals and the National First Aid Center will continue to operate, while civil aviation employees will be working and courts will function according to the ministry, whose decision is aimed at alleviating congestion in the capital during the EU summit, for which the government has scheduled extra-tight security. SAMINA SUIT Two German survivors of wreck sue shipping firm for their ordeal Two German survivors of the September 2000 Express Samina shipwreck, in which 80 people lost their lives, yesterday sued the shipping firm Hellas Flying Dolphins (HFD) for 314,000 euros as compensation for their ordeal. Eric Schneider and Hans Helmut Hart Meyer, who are both doctors, claim their experience caused them severe psychological problems. HEROIN RING 8.6-kilo haul in central Greece Police in the central prefecture of Aitoloakarnania yesterday found 8.6 kilos of heroin in a coach heading to Athens from Tirana. Police arrested two Albanians, one of whom was driving the coach, after finding the drugs, which had been hidden under passenger seats. The passengers had no connection with the drugs, according to police. Corinth compensation The families of the six workers who died in last Thursday’s explosion at a Corinth pipe-manufacturing factory are each to receive 15,000 euros in financial aid, according to yesterday’s decision by the Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED). Cold spell Road travel across much of northern Greece was dangerous yesterday following heavy snowfall and low temperatures which reached -19C (-2F) in the municipality of Nevrokopi in Drama. Temperatures are to drop further across the country from today, bringing rain. Tempo reprimanded The National Broadcasting Council (ESR) yesterday decided to revoke the license of the private television channel Tempo for the second time in six months due to «the vulgarity of the programs it airs.» An excess of telephone sex advertisements, live palm readings and astrological forecasting sessions were the reason ESR has decided to reprimand Tempo. The channel had its license revoked last October for failing to pay staff their full salaries. Tempo’s appeal to the Council of State against ESR’s first decision is still pending. Inflation dips Inflation dipped to 4.1 percent in March from 4.3 percent in February, the National Statistics Service said yesterday. Taxi meters The Development Ministry yesterday banned the distribution of two types of taxi meters which inspections revealed as running faster than standard meters, resulting in higher fees for passengers. The ministry also imposed fines of 35,000 and 55,000 euros on the two Greek firms which import the suspect models. The two firms are also obliged to replace all those taxi meters on the Greek market with different models. Store hours Athens retailers yesterday announced extended store hours in the countdown to Orthodox Easter. Stores will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from April 17-19 and 21-24, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Good Friday, April 25, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Easter Saturday, April 26. Club penalized The Association of Professional Soccer Clubs (EPAE) yesterday deducted 56 points from first-division club PAS Ioannina for unpaid debts to 18 players. The team was in 14th place out of 16 clubs, with 19 points. PASOK bomb A homemade bomb detonated outside the offices of ruling PASOK in Thessaloniki early today, causing minor damage but no injuries.