NEWS

In Brief

BROTHEL CRACKDOWN

Prostitutes protest outside ministry as officials debate possible reforms Dozens of prostitutes yesterday gathered outside the Interior Ministry to protest against a crackdown on illegally operating brothels ahead of next year’s Olympic Games as senior ministry officials met with a delegation of brothel workers to discuss possible amendments to legislation governing their sector. Protesters are objecting to plans by Athens municipal authorities to implement a 1999 law – which would close brothels operating illegally. Authorities have already ordered the closure of the first 15 illegal brothels. FIRMS INDICTED Dairy producer, wholesale trader fined for misleading, overpricing Deputy Development Minister Kimon Koulouris yesterday had a dairy producer and a wholesale trading firm brought before a prosecutor – the first for allegedly misleading consumers by inappropriately promoting one of its products as feta, and the second for overpricing imported potatoes by 30 percent. The Kolios dairy firm yesterday said it would accept only charges of negligence, maintaining that a German firm which translated its Greek website had wrongly described the cheese. The National Food Inspectorate has proposed to the ministry that Kolios be fined 100,000 euros. Meanwhile, the Spyros and Ioannis Marmarinos wholesalers face a 30,000-euro fine. GREEK-TURKISH TIES Ministers praise military deal Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul yesterday expressed their satisfaction with a NATO-brokered pact for boosting military cooperation between their countries. In a joint statement issued after their telephone conversation, the two men said they were convinced that the process of developing confidence-building measures «will create a positive atmosphere in the Aegean and boost understanding and cooperation between Greece and Turkey.» The pact foresees cooperation between the two countries’ national defense colleges and an exchange of personnel at training centers. Police chief Fotis Nasiakos is to serve another year as Greece’s police force chief, the Government Council for Foreign Policy and Defense decided yesterday, following a recommendation by Public Order Minister Giorgos Floridis. Prime Minister Costas Simitis is very satisfied with Nasiakos’s achievements, especially in the dismantling of the November 17 terror group, government spokesman Christos Protopappas said. Security protest Police, coast guard and fire department officers staged a demonstration and candlelight vigil in central Athens to press their demand that their work be classified as «dangerous and unhealthy.» This would lead to benefits such as early retirement. Weather damage Heavy rain and hailstorms across the prefecture of Thessaloniki damaged around 250 hectares of vineyards, 100 hectares of tobacco and 60 hectares of olive trees, according to estimates by local agronomists who surveyed the affected areas. Agriculture Ministry officials are to assess how much compensation local farmers are due. Moonlit sights The Culture Ministry’s traditional August Full Moon festival will offer free access to 62 of the country’s archaeological sites on August 12, the ministry said yesterday. Attica sites – which have yet to be finalized – include the Acropolis. Traffic disruptions Roadworks will cause disruptions at the Faros interchange in Psychico, and on Dimocritou St at the junction between Kifissias and Paradeissou avenues until the beginning of September, the Public Works Ministry said yesterday. Also, traffic will be suspended in the Lamia-bound lane on Kifissou Avenue – between Pireos and Andreas Papandreou streets – from Sunday until Aug. 9, the ministry said. Ioannina murder A 21-year-old student who confessed to stabbing his mother and grandmother to death in Ioannina last Friday is due to be jailed in the northwestern town today. Constantine Mitsaris yesterday told a local magistrate that he regretted his actions.