Parliament returns bill on brothels

The Interior Ministry was forced yesterday to scrap one draft amendment and postpone a debate on a second after parliamentary officials and opposition parties complained that the two proposed new laws should not have been included in a completely unrelated bill. The first amendment, which would have allowed MPs to employ in their offices employees working for Parliament on a temporary basis, was rejected after Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis told Deputy Interior Minister Nikos Bistis the house had never requested such «unnecessary» legislation. The second would have facilitated the operation of legal brothels ahead of the 2004 Olympics – by halving the minimum distance such establishments must maintain from schools, churches, hospitals, youth clubs and playgrounds, and by allowing married women to work as prostitutes. Kaklamanis told Bistis that, should the government «insist» on tabling the amendment, it should do so in a law on health matters. Both amendments were contained in a bill on public administration.