NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPICS

IOC committee begins 3-day inspection The International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission yesterday began a three-day inspection of Athens 2004 preparations. The team, headed by Denis Oswald, began a review that will include security, construction and venue operations. Yesterday, the inspection focused on a tramway and suburban railway line that are considered key transportation projects for the Games and which are showing delays in construction. SECURITY Tests on Athens 2004 high-tech systems this year A high-tech security system being built to guard next year’s Olympics will be tested by the end of the year, 2004 organizers said yesterday. The exercise is expected to test surveillance cameras across the capital, from the Olympic Village to the city’s main port of Piraeus. During the Games, stationary cameras will operate from some 1,250 concrete columns which are 12 meters (39 feet) tall, while surveillance equipment will also be fitted on 12 patrol boats, three helicopters and a «security balloon.» (AP) LABOR ACCIDENT Worker killed, three injured One man was killed and three of his fellow workers seriously injured in a fall from the top of a chimney they were cleaning at the Public Power Corporation (PPC) power station in Aliveri, on the island of Evia. The dead man was named as Pavlos Sitaridis, 46, of Piraeus, and the three injured are Nikos Sofianos, 45, Jordian Serciu, 22, and Florin Konake, 32, all of whom are being treated at the Haidari hospital. The men were standing on a wooden platform when the chimney bricks gave way. Police are conducting an investigation. Seamen rescued The coast guard at Pylos in the western Peloponnese picked up three seamen Tuesday after receiving a call for help from the Turkish cargo ship Cenk Sener, anchored at sea east of the island of Sapienza. The three crew members, who had sustained burns in the engine room, were transferred to Kalamata hospital. Taxi strike Taxi drivers will begin a two-day strike today in an attempt to make the government revoke its decision to force them to install receipt-issuing meters. Nurses’ roadblock About 500 nurses from around the country were planning to block the Athens-Thessaloniki highway yesterday afternoon in the Vale of Tempe, where 21 schoolchildren were killed in a freak accident last April. The Panhellenic Federation of Nurses chose the site to raise their claims, including having their profession declared hazardous to their health. ‘Equal’ program Some 630 people consulted the Athens Municipality’s reception center for immigrants and refugees within the European Union program «Equal – Forum for Social Cohesion» since it opened in April through the end of September. It is the third such center in the program, which provides information and advice on issues such as residence permits, social security, health and education. Arson attack A fire in the parking area of an apartment building in Kallithea, southern Athens, just before dawn yesterday was the result of an arson attack, police said. Seven cars, two motorcycles and a boat were seriously damaged. ND office bombed Gas canister bombs were thrown into the entrance of a branch of the New Democracy party in Kato Toumba, Thessaloniki, early yesterday. The blast broke windows and set fire to curtains. Bank robbery Two masked and armed men robbed a Eurobank branch of 30,000 euros in Piraeus yesterday. The two men escaped on a motorcycle. No guides The Panhellenic Federation of Tourist Guides begins an open-ended strike tomorrow to protest against changes to their social security system. Shopping hours Winter shopping hours are to begin on November 1, according to the the traders’ federation of Attica, neighboring prefectures and the Aegean Islands. Shops can close no later than 8 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 6 p.m. on Saturdays.