NEWS

In Brief

KERAMEIKOS HOLE

Site slated for new metro station to become underground car park A deep hole at the junction of Iera Odos and Pireos streets in Kerameikos, where a new metro station was originally planned to be built, is to finally be developed into an underground car park, according to reforms tabled in Parliament earlier this week, reports said yesterday. Attiko Metro, which had dug up the site for a new metro station before the line leading to it from Monastiraki was canceled due to the threat it posed to the Kerameikos ancient cemetery, is to undertake the car park project following an agreement with the Athens municipality. GRAFT Tax officials, accountants charged over certificates Three tax inspectors and two accountants yesterday faced graft charges in connection with the alleged illegal issuance of certificates attesting to payment of taxes, according to police in northern Greece who are also seeking a lawyer in connection with the alleged fraud. A police investigation into the allegations began about a month ago when a Thessaloniki car salesman told police he had been asked for 7,500 euros in return for a certificate showing that the tax on the transferal of a home to his daughter had been paid. STONE THROWER New attacks in Gerakas Police were yesterday seeking to identify the person responsible for throwing stones at cars on the Attiki Odos from a bridge in Gerakas, east of Athens, just after 2 a.m. None of the five drivers whose vehicles were pelted by stones were injured and no accidents were provoked by the stone throwing, police said. Last year, an unidentified stone-thrower targeted taxis along the coastal road at Faliron. Cyprus mines The Cypriot Cabinet yesterday approved for signature the Ottawa Convention banning the use, storage and production of anti-personnel land mines and proposed the establishment of a special committee to deal with the matter. «We are talking about voluntary demining as a as a gesture toward the Turkish Cypriots,» a Cabinet representative said yesterday. Special guest The presence of Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos at ruling PASOK’s Central Committee meeting on Tuesday had been agreed upon before the agenda for the meeting had been set «as is the standard practice in Europe when there is a serious matter to be discussed,» government spokesman Christos Protopappas said yesterday, in response to journalists’ questions as to what Papadopoulos was doing there. The president would have probably responded similarly to an invitation by opposition New Democracy, Protopappas said. Cash-strapped The National Association of Municipal Authorities has decided to press for a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis to demand an urgently needed increase in funds for municipal services, the association said yesterday after its management board convened in Athens. The association will ask Simitis for an increase of 350 million euros in government funding for this year, as compared to the 120-million-euro increase it is due to receive from the Economy Ministry. Child whipped A 29-year-old Cretan woman who admitted to whipping her 7-year-old son has psychological problems, police said yesterday. Officers arrested the unnamed woman after the boy’s 31-year-old father reported her for causing minor injuries to the boy’s arms and back by striking him with a leather whip. Chrysostomos Ailing Cypriot Archbishop Chrysostomos yesterday spent a few hours in the intensive care unit at Nicosia’s General Hospital after displaying an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) but was discharged a few hours later after his heartbeat stabilized. Chrysostomos has been unable to carry out his duties for over a year after slipping and hitting his head on the steps of the Archbishopric in Nicosia. Balkan gastronomy The northern city of Komotini has been designated «Balkan Center of Gastronomy and Flavors» by Balkan tourism ministers, the Greek National Tourism Organization said yesterday.