NEWS

In Brief

HUMAN SMUGGLING

Greece removed from US blacklist after meetings in Washington Greece has been removed from America’s list of countries not satisfying US legislation regarding human trafficking, according to reports yesterday from Washington where the Foreign Ministry’s general secretary for international economic relations, Dimitris Dollis, has been discussing the matter with the State Department’s chief anti-trafficking official, John Miller, over the past few days. The department concluded that the Greek government has made «positive steps» to stamp out human smuggling, Dollis was quoted as saying by the Athens News Agency after presenting officials with the measures in detail. Dollis also discussed the international fight against terrorism with other White House officials. GOOD EUROPEANS Greeks best informed about plans for a constitution, EU poll shows Greeks are the best informed and among the most enthusiastic of European Union citizens (including those of acceding states) regarding plans for a European constitution, according to a Eurobarometer poll conducted earlier this year whose results were made public yesterday. Thirty-eight percent are well informed about plans for a constitution, compared to a 29 percent EU average, while 75 percent support a referendum for a constitution to be approved, as compared to a 43 percent EU average. Seventy-six percent support the establishment of a European constitution, compared to a 67 percent EU average. WOMEN IN ARMY No female conscripts, gov’t says The drafting of female conscripts into the armed forces is a topic for debate but Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou has said there is no question of compulsory military service for women, government spokesman Christos Protopapas said yesterday. His comments followed comments on Sunday by ruling PASOK’s new top election campaign planner Theodoros Pangalos in support of drafting women into the armed forces. Meanwhile, opposition New Democracy deputy Spilios Spiliotopoulos asked the Defense Ministry to to explain why it is «psychologically preparing the public for the eventuality of women being drafted when that has not been looked at by the chiefs of staff.» Riyadh blast Government spokesman Christos Protopapas yesterday expressed Greece’s «absolute and categorical condemnation of the brutal, murderous attack in Riyadh» on Saturday. Seventeen people were killed and 120 injured after suspected Al Qaeda suicide bombers attacked a housing complex in the Saudi capital. Trolley strike Athens trolley bus services will be disrupted today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m as workers stage a work stoppage to participate in their union’s annual general assembly. Royal butler Prince Charles’s former aide Michael Fawcett has never had nor currently has any kind of connection with the Athens 2004 organizing committee, its press office said yesterday in response to reports in the British and Greek media. On Friday, Britain’s Evening Standard tabloid newspaper claimed Fawcett – who is at the heart of current media speculation regarding the Prince of Wales’s sexuality – had «landed one of the most prestigious entertainment commissions of 2004 – party organizer to the Olympic Games.» Meanwhile, yesterday’s Ta Nea daily said Fawcett had been hired as a butler for Athens 2004 President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki. Anti-demolition protest A protest against the planned demolition of six of a row of eight Athens 1930s apartment blocks for refugees is to take place at 6 p.m. tomorrow opposite the Panathinaikos soccer stadium on Alexandras Avenue. Protestors will then march to the Public Works Ministry. Child porn Police in Xanthi were yesterday investigating whether a 32-year-old construction worker, who allegedly photographed and sexually harassed two children, has been peddling pornography on the Internet. E.K. was arrested after the parents of a 7-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl complained that he had driven the children to a remote spot where he photographed and sexually harassed them before releasing them.