NEWS

In Brief

POLYTECHNIC ARRESTS

Five, including 4 minors, released pending trial over Monday’s riots Five of the eight people – including four minors – who were arrested in Athens during Monday’s rally marking the 30th anniversary of the student uprising at Athens Polytechnic were yesterday released pending trial. The charges faced by the eight include illegal arms possession, grievous bodily harm and resisting arrest. A 30-year-old man faces trial in Thessaloniki on charges of attempted grievous bodily harm, resisting arrest and verbal abuse during Monday’s rally in the northern city. Demonstrations were relatively tame this year, with the police contigent on duty in Athens topping 7,000 officers. STRIKE Public services disruption tomorrow as ADEDY, doctors, teachers protest Public services will be badly disrupted tomorrow when workers participate in a 24-hour nationwide strike over pay called by the civil servants’ union (ADEDY). State secondary school teachers will join the protest with their own 24-hour strike. And hospital doctors in Athens are to launch a 48-hour strike on the same day. ADEDY will be staging a demonstration at noon tomorrow on Korai Street in central Athens. OLYMPIC CONFIDENCE US lawmakers upbeat on security Senior US lawmakers have given Athens 2004 Olympics organisers a vote of confidence. In a letter to Prime Minister Costas Simitis obtained by Reuters yesterday, Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate’s foreign relations committee, and three other senior lawmakers said they were certain Greece would take all necessary measures to protect athletes and visitors. «We know your government is committed to taking the critical security precautions an event like the Olympics requires and to seeking any assistance the United States can provide,» the letter said. «We believe the 2004 Olympic Games… will be unique and will bring a special atmosphere that only the Greeks can create.» (Reuters) Patras quake An undersea quake, measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale, struck the Patras area just after 8.30 p.m. yesterday. No damage or injuries were reported. Activists protest Members of a Danish anti-globalization group, Global Roots, yesterday admitted to vandalizing the door of a Copenhagen building that houses the Greek Embassy in protest at the continued imprisonment of seven demonstrators arrested in Thessaloniki during the June EU summit, The Associated Press said. Five detainees have been on hunger strike for over a month. Three were in an Athens hospital yesterday. Havana church Cuban President Fidel Castro is funding the establishment of the first Christian Orthodox church in the island capital of Havana, which Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios is due to inaugurate on January 25, sources said yesterday. Stone-thrower Police were yesterday seeking to identify the person responsible for throwing a large stone off the bridge at Faliron Delta late on Monday that crashed into a driver’s windscreen. Thomas Pantazopoulos, 37, sustained minor injuries. Last year, an unidentified stone-thrower targeted vehicles, especially taxis, at the same spot. Pilots honored French Ambassador in Athens Bruno Delaye yesterday presented medals of honor to the four pilots, four co-pilots and four ground technicians who contributed to French efforts to extinguish a major fire in southern France at the end of July. During next year’s Olympic Games «when your civil defense services will be under great pressure, France will be by your side,» Delaye said during a special ceremony. Holocaust Day Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos yesterday assured the leader of Greece’s Central Board of Jewish Communities, Moses Constantini, that he would push for legislation allowing for the designation of an official Holocaust Day for Greek Jews. Croatian visit Croatian President Stjepan Mesic yesterday called for the return of thousands of Serbs from Croatia, who abandoned their homeland during the 1991-1995 war, during a joint news conference in Athens with his Greek counterpart, Costis Stephanopoulos.