NEWS

In Brief

SITES CLOSED

Strike to affect Acropolis, Dion, Mycenae, Knossos this week Several museums and archaeological sites across the country will be closed this week as Culture Ministry contract workers stage strike action for higher pay and permanent contracts. The Acropolis, the archaeological sites and museums of Pella, Dion and Vergina and the Castle of Platamonas in northern Greece closed yesterday and will remain shut until Thursday. And the archaeological sites and museums at Knossos, Mycenae, Ancient Corinth and Epidaurus will be closed tomorrow and Thursday. FRANTZIS REBUFFED Court rejects parole bid by man who killed and cut up teenage wife A Piraeus court yesterday rejected an appeal for release on parole by a man serving a life sentence for the murder of his 18-year-old wife. The court accepted a prosecutor’s proposal that Panayiotis Frantzis – who killed and dismembered Zoi Garmani in the Athenian district of Patissia in June 1987 – does not fulfill the prerequisites for unconditional release. Frantzis, who disposed of Garmani’s remains in the trash, claimed to have killed his wife by accident and then to have panicked. POWELL VISIT Secretary of State due next week US Secretary of State Colin Powell is to visit Athens on October 22 before a summit on Iraqi reconstruction taking place in Madrid on October 23-24, the US State Department confirmed yesterday. Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis denied that a three-way meeting was to take place between Powell, Papandreou and Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who is due in Athens on October 21. Earthquake trial The trial of a building contractor, a civil engineer, a surveyor and four supermarket officials in connection with the collapse during the 1999 Athens earthquake of a Nea Philadelphia building in which seven people died was yesterday postponed until March 3 after one of the eight defendants had to be hospitalized. All eight face charges of murder with possible malice aforethought for alleged oversights in the initial construction and subsequent modifications to the building. Olympia train Trains started serving the route between ancient OIympia and Pirgos in the western Peloponnese again yesterday following the completion of works, which started in May, to construct a railway bridge at the junction of the Vytina-Olympia national road and the Pirgos-Olympia railway route. Church war An ongoing feud between Archbishop Christodoulos and Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios over the control of more than 30 Greek sees «is an exceptionally delicate and serious matter (regarding which)… there should be no political or party intervention,» Education Minister Petros Efthymiou, who is also responsible for matters of religion, said yesterday. OPAP show A group of five opposition New Democracy deputies yesterday asked the press and economy ministers to explain the criteria used to cement an agreement between the state soccer pool and lottery organization (OPAP) and private television channel Mega for a game show using the unclaimed winnings of OPAP players. The MPs want to know why OPAP chose Mega, why a competition was not announced so other bids could be made, and why cooperation with a state TV channel was not favored. The agreement is said to be worth 20.54 million euros. Roadworks Athens-bound drivers on Kifissias Avenue will not be able to turn left onto Panormou St from tomorrow as traffic diversions, intended to regulate the flow of traffic on Kifissias, come into effect. Drivers should use Katehaki and Sevastoupoleos streets instead. Police fight The head of the European Confederation of Police union complained to PM Costas Simitis, in a letter made public yesterday, over a riot squad crackdown on what the government called a «mutinous» police protest in Athens last week. «Peaceful demonstrations are not mutiny… but the exercise of a fundamental democratic right,» the letter said.