NEWS

In Brief

Archbishop Christodoulos said yesterday the Church of Greece proposes to seek a referendum on whether reference should be made to Europe’s Christian tradition in the new EU constitution, according to a report by the Athens News Agency. Christodoulos was quoted as claiming that the Church of Greece will work with other Christian churches «to ensure that the first constitution bears the seal of truth, popular approval and acceptance.» Church officials strongly oppose ommission of such a reference from the draft constitution. In 2000, Christodoulos launched a failed bid for a referendum on whether mention of bearers’ religious faith should be removed from state identity cards – a government decision bitterly contested by the Church. MIDDLE EAST AGREEMENT Athens hails ‘first positive moves’ Greece, as holder of the European Union presidency, yesterday welcomed Friday’s agreement on the withdrawal of Israeli military forces from the northern part of the Gaza Strip and Bethlehem, and the assumption of security responsibility in these areas by Palestinian authorities. «These developments… constitute an important step for the implementation of the first phase of the [Middle East] Road Map,» a Foreign Ministry statement said. «The Presidency calls upon all parties to show the necessary prudence and responsibility so that these first positive moves may lead to the desired goal of peace and stability in the Middle East. The demonstrated spirit of compromise should prevail in the pursuit of the aforementioned objective.» Airport blackout A 45-minute power cut at the Iraklion airport on Crete on Saturday morning caused considerable hardship to travelers, knocking out security controls at the departures section as well as the luggage collection system. Flights, however, continued to arrive as the control tower electricity supply was not affected. Flag charges Two migrant construction workers were charged on Saturday with insulting a state symbol after a Greek flag was removed from a pole and burned at the Athens Olympic Stadium on Friday. Police arrested Bulgarian national Kazimir Dmidzev, 42, on the spot on Friday, and Albanian national Leonard Dorti, 19, early on Saturday. Both were employed in construction works at the site. Kroustallakis goes Supreme Court prosecutor Evangelos Kroustallakis steps down today as his term as Greece’s top prosecutor expires along with that of another 68 senior judges and prosecutors. The Justice Ministry is expected to announce his replacement by July 15.