NEWS

In Brief

A major section of the Attiki Odos highway – between the Metamorphosis junction on the Athens-Lamia national road and the Elefsina tollgates – is to come into operation on December 2, the Public Works Ministry said yesterday. The 26-kilometer (16-mile) section includes six interchanges and traverses the districts of Menidi, Zephyri, Ano Liosia, Aspropyrgos and the northern part of Mandra. A smaller section of around 3 km – from the Aghia Paraskevi junction to Doukissis Plakentias – is due to come into operation next June, along with the new Stavros interchange. MIKIS THEODORAKIS Government ‘does not share’ composer’s opinions on Jews The Greek government «does not share» the opinions of Jews expressed by composer Mikis Theodorakis last week, spokesman Christos Protopapas said yesterday. «The Greek people have defended the Jewish community in Greece over the course of history, and Theodorakis himself has honored it with his musical composition ‘Mauthausen’ (after the Nazi concentration camp in Austria),» Protopapas said. The Foreign Ministry said it had not received any official or unofficial protests over Theodorakis’s comments. The composer himself said criticism of his comments had been unfair. STRAY PROTECTION Provisions approved for new law Deputy Agriculture Minister Fotis Hadzimichalis yesterday approved six provisions detailing recent legislation for the protection of stray animals. This means that the legislation effectively comes into force as regards the tagging, registering, vaccination of strays (who are then adopted or released); the tagging and registering of pet dogs; the funding of dog shelters and of a state-backed initiative to collect and sterilize strays (who are then put up for adoption or rereleased); the sensitization of schoolchildren to the problem of strays; and the issuing of operational guidelines for animal shelters and pet shops. Iraq bombing Foreign Minister George Papandreou condemned yesterday’s suicide bombing in Nasiriyah, southern Iraq, which caused the death of 25 people. Rally restrictions Teams of police officers will henceforth be assigned to restrict demonstrations and protest rallies to as small an area as possible – where able, to just one lane of traffic or the sidewalk – according to a decision made public by Public Order Minister Giorgos Floridis yesterday. The move forms part of the government’s plans to avoid major bottlenecks during the Olympics. Camera damage A Thessaloniki municipal councilor was yesterday charged with criminal damage for severing the cable of one of the 42 surveillance cameras set up around the northern city over the course of the European summit in Halkidiki last June. Agapios Sahinis had criticized the installation of the cameras in Thessaloniki as a violation of privacy. He claims that although the cameras were ostensibly set up for the EU summit, they continue to operate. Lawyers strike The trial of 19 November 17 suspects – and all other trials – will be suspended until Monday as Athens lawyers start a 48-hour strike today. No cheap kiss Private television channel Mega has been fined 100,000 euros by the National Broadcasting Council for a scene in a weekly drama showing two men kissing. The council described the scene in the serial «Close Your Eyes» as «vulgar and unacceptable.» Asked to comment on the decision yesterday, government spokesman Christos Protopapas said the council «is an independent authority… the legality of whose decisions is not monitored by the Press Ministry.» Clemenceau The Clemenceau, a decommissioned French aircaft carrier stranded for almost a month in the Mediterranean because of a contractual dispute over its demolition, is to be towed back to its home port of Toulon, the French government said yesterday. Initial reports had said the 33,000-ton vessel, which contains high levels of asbestos and other toxic chemicals, was to be broken up in Greece.