NEWS

In Brief

MONUMENTS CLOSED

Strike to affect Acropolis, Dion, Mycenae, Knossos this week Several museums and archaeological sites across the country are to be closed next week as Culture Ministry contract workers stage strike action for higher pay and permanent contracts, unionists said yesterday. The Acropolis, the archaeological sites and museums of Pella, Dion and Vergina and the Castle of Platamonas in northern Greece will be closed from Monday through Wednesday. And the archaeological sites and museums at Knossos, Mycenae, Ancient Corinth and Epidaurus will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday. EXPENSIVE FANS Top Greek soccer clubs fined for crowd trouble in European league Soccer clubs Panathinaikos and Olympiakos were yesterday fined a total of 150,000 Swiss francs (97,400 euros) by UEFA following crowd trouble at their recent Champions League matches. Panathinaikos faced the heavier punishment of a 100,000-Swiss franc (65,000 euro) fine for the behavior of their fans during the Champions League match against Glasgow Rangers on October 1. Greek supporters threw coins, bottles and other missiles onto the field during the Group E match, which ended in a 1-1 draw. (Reuters) SARS ALARM Chinese patient recovering well A 38-year-old Chinese meteorologist who was taken to Athens’s General Air Force Hospital with a temperature of 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) on Wednesday night – initially arousing fears that he might have the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) – has made a significant recovery and is expected to be discharged early next week, hospital sources said yesterday. The man, whose name was not made public, arrived in Athens on Monday with a Chinese delegation for talks on the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Traffic disruption Traffic will be disrupted in central Athens from 4 p.m. today as a cycle race, from the Acropolis to Mount Hymettus, gets under way. Drivers on Amalias Avenue, Syntagma Square, Vassilissis Sofias, Vassileos Alexandrou, Grigoriou Theologou, Ethnikis Antistasseos, Kaisariani and Kalopoula will have to use diversions. Traffic police are asking drivers to avoid using, and parking along, the above route. 2004 training France’s anti-terrorist police unit is to train two teams of elite Greek police and coast guard teams for the Olympics, the French Embassy in Athens said yesterday. Around 15 officers from the Greek police’s counterterrorism unit will undergo an intensive training course in the French city of Lyon from October 20 to 24. Also, around 10 coast guard divers are to train with French counterparts at the naval base of Saint Mandrier from October 13 to 25. France is part of a seven-country Olympic consultative group advising Athens on security. Fraud probe The Popular Bank of Greece yesterday confirmed press reports that a criminal ring had been issuing dud checks to conduct illegal transactions to the tune of 1 million dollars at a branch in Rhodes. It said it was investigating the matter. Local businessmen and bank employees are allegedly implicated in the scam. Karamanlis Opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis yesterday met Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze during a visit to Tbilisi. Tomorrow, Karamanlis is due in Ankara where he is to meet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. School knifing A 17-year-old pupil from a secondary school in Lavrion, southern Attica, is to face a prosecutor after using a flick-knife to injure two fellow pupils in the chest and thigh respectively during a fight outside the school’s entrance yesterday morning. The boys received first-aid treatment for their wounds, which were not serious. Church dialogue The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece yesterday thanked Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios for accepting Archbishop Christodoulos’s invite to a meeting to discuss the two churches’ ongoing feud over control of more than 30 Greek sees. But the Holy Synod did not accept the dates and meeting places suggested by Vartholomaios, adding that they would announce the archbishop’s own proposal «in due course.»