NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC COIN

EC gives go-ahead for minting of commemorative 2-euro piece The European Commission yesterday gave the go-ahead to the Greek government to mint a commemorative 2-euro coin to boost the budget of the Olympic Games by 100 million euros. Sources said 50 million commemorative coins will circulate in the eurozone as of January 1. The approval came as the Commission lifted a ban on EU member states minting commemorative coins, imposed following the introduction of the euro in January 2002. Now EU countries can mint commemorative issues, but only 2-euro coins and one issue per year per state, according to the Commission’s decision. FATAL COLLISION Three Britons, two Corfiots dead in car crash that seriously injures four Three members of a British family and two residents of Corfu died while another four people were seriously injured just after midnight yesterday when two cars collided on a country road in the island’s north. British diplomats quoted by the Associated Press identified the dead Britons as Neil and Dawn l’Anson, and their son Keagan. The Corfiot victims were identified as Nektarios Anthis, 25, and Anastasia Pilou, 40. The British family’s 5-year-old daughter was airlifted to Athens with serious injuries, and three islanders who had been in Anthis’s car were hospitalized in Corfu. Police said the road was slippery and Anthis had been speeding. 4.8 QUAKE Tremor strikes central Peloponnese An earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale struck Mount Erymanthos on the border of the Arcadia and Ileia prefectures in the Peloponnese shortly before 8 p.m. yesterday. There were no reports of injuries or damage as a result of the quake. Acropolis closed The Acropolis was closed yesterday by striking Culture Ministry workers who staged a protest for higher pay and permanent contracts. A similar protest will be held tomorrow. Abuse arrests Two Gypsies, aged 15 and 16, have been arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of an 18-year-old disabled Cretan youth, police in Iraklion said yesterday. The two Gypsies took the 18-year-old to an abandoned house in the northern Cretan town where they sexually abused him, the young man’s mother told police. Doctor convicted A Thessaloniki court yesterday imposed a two-year jail sentence, suspended for three years, on a hospital surgeon it found guilty of causing the death through neglect of a 30-year-old woman whose gallstone operation he perfomred in 2000. Kyriaki Antoniadou died of a heart attack and massive blood loss during the operation at the AHEPA Hospital by Costas Papapolychroniadis. Two specialist doctors and an anaesthetist aiding Papapolychroniadis were cleared. Road accidents There was a small increase (of 1.2 percent) in the number of road accidents in Greece during the month of July as compared to July 2002 but a fall of 4.7 percent in fatalities, the National Statistics Service said yesterday. Of 1,688 road accidents recorded this July, 181 were fatal, while 190 deaths were caused by 1,668 accidents in July 2002. Moreover, the number of serious injuries fell by 17.1 percent, with 252 recorded this July, compared to 304 in July 2002. Bush invite Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos yesterday invited US First Lady Laura Bush to the Athens 2004 Olympics, during a meeting on the sidelines of the UNESCO general assembly in Paris. Work site death An 18-year-old Albanian laborer was fatally electrocuted yesterday while cleaning a cement mixer on a construction site in the village of Chryssavgi, some 20 kilometres northeast of Thessaloniki. The owner of the site where Erdil Apoli was working, identified as 52-year-old N.A., was arrested. Detainees released Turkish-Cypriot authorities have released a Greek-Cypriot man and his British companion who were arrested last Friday after going on a boat trip off the coast of Turkish-occupied Famagusta, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday.