NEWS

In Brief

VARTHOLOMAIOS FIRM

Patriarch says Greek dioceses to remain under his authority Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, on the third day of a five-day visit to the Aegean island of Lemnos, yesterday insisted that his Patriarchate retains spiritual authority over Greek dioceses being «claimed» by the Church of Greece. The «new domains» of the Church of Greece «had been only transferred to the oversight (of the Church) for a limited period of time,» Vartholomaios added. The patriarch, who also stressed the need to improve Greek-Turkish relations, is due to visit the neighboring island of Aghios Efstratios today. IMMIGRANTS Protest rally demands permits, easing of red tape Immigrants and epresentatives of pro-migrant groups marched from Omonia Square to Parliament on Thursday night, protesting against the bureaucratic complications faced by immigrants attempting to secure residence permits in Greece. The protesters handed a petition to Parliament demanding that the procedures be simplified. Among their other demands are that residence permits remain valid for at least three years, that migrants pay no levies for bureaucratic procedures as they already pay taxes, and that elderly migrants be legalized unconditionally. KYPSELI MURDER Man stabbed in his home Police were yesterday investigating the murder of a 30-year-old man found with multiple stab wounds to his stomach in his flat in the central Athenian district of Kypseli. Nikolaos Vodoulakis, a decorator from Hania, Crete, was found by a friend who went to his home yesterday morning after not hearing from him for a few days. The victim was naked, in a chair, with his hands tied behind his back. Vodoulakis’s unnamed friend said she had last spoken to him on Monday when he did not suggest anything was wrong. Weather cools Temperatures are to drop significantly from today, and will range from 25C (77F) to 35C (95F) in Attica and 25C (77F) to 30C (86F) in northern Greece – compared to highs of 39C (102.2F) in Athens and 37C (99F) in the north over the last couple of days, the National Meteorological Service said yesterday. Also, scattered showers and storms are likely in central and northern Greece and it is likely to rain in Attica in the afternoon. Traffic disruption Cars will be barred from Kypseli Street from today until August 10 as roadworks get under way. Diversions will be via Skopelou, Kerkyras, Evias and Skyros streets. Buses and trolleys will continue to operate as normal. Forest fire Firemen with 14 fire engines, as well as three firefighting aircraft and a helicopter yesterday managed to extinguish a forest fire near the village of Aghia Varvara in the Cretan prefecture of Iraklion. The blaze – fanned by strong winds – ravaged 30 hectares of farmland. Dozens of sheep and goats were burnt in the blaze, whose cause was unknown yesterday. Peace boat Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot peace activists are to welcome a «peace boat» carrying 800 passengers from different parts of the world when it arrives at the Cypriot port of Limassol tomorrow. A Japanese non-governmental organization, Peace Boat organizes several «educational peace voyages» every year with the aim of «promoting international peace and friendship at a grassroots level.» Organizers are inviting teachers on both sides of the divided island to lectures and performances scheduled after the vessel’s arrival. 2004 Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos was in Iraklion yesterday to inspect progress in preparing Olympic venues in the Cretan prefecture. Venizelos, who was accompanied by the general secretary for the Olympic Games, Costas Kartalis, was due to visit Iraklion’s Pangratio Stadium, its archaeological museum, and works at Giofyro and Knossos. Diver found. Rescuers yesterday recovered the body of 30-year-old Emmanouil Kachrimanidis, who went missing on Thursday afternoon while on an underwater spearfishing expedition with a friend off Paliouri, Halkidiki. The cause of death of was being investigated.