In Brief


Ministry’s approval of initial study for construction is illegal, court rules A Culture Ministry decision approving a preliminary study for the construction of a new Acropolis Museum in the area of Makriyianni, on the southeastern fringes of the Acropolis, is illegal and unconstitutional, the Council of State’s plenary session ruled in a decision made public yesterday. This deals a considerable blow to the museum project, a key element of Greece’s campaign for the return of the Elgin, or Parthenon, Marbles. However, the housing of archaeological finds in the new Acropolis Museum is legal and does not violate the Constitution, the court ruled. The Council of State is to discuss an appeal on December 5 for the annulment of a final study for the museum’s construction. TAXI STRIKE No cabs in Athens and Piraeus today as drivers resume their protest There will be no taxis in Athens today as cabbies hold a 24-hour strike against a government decision on the installation of receipt-issuing meters in their vehicles by January 1. Unionists want all reforms passed by the Economy and Transport ministries (including the installation of meters) to be discussed from scratch once again. HOLOCAUST Jan. 27 proposed for remembrance The Interior Ministry said yesterday that it would be submitting legislation to Parliament making January 27 – the day on which prisoners were released from the Auschwitz World War II concentration camp – a «day of remembrance for Greek Jewish Holocaust victims.» Meanwhile, the Israeli Embassy in Athens distanced itself from a «travel advisory» issued by the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center urging Jewish travelers to boycott Greece at the 2004 Olympics due to the government’s alleged failure to curb «growing anti-Semitism» in the country. The embassy «has no connection with this so-called travel advisory,» it said. Smoked out Police yesterday caught a 37-year-old patricide suspect – who had been in hiding since allegedly fatally shooting his 78-year-old father on Thursday in the village of Marmara, around 40 kilometers west of Lamia – after his chronic smoking habit forced him to venture into nearby Sperchiada to buy cigarettes. Police, aware of Dimitris Gouvalas’s severe nicotine addiction, had set up ambushes near regional kiosks and simply waited until he appeared. Ancient Agora Athens’s Museum of the Ancient Agora (Stoa of Attalos) is to be closed to the public from today until next spring due to restoration works, the Culture Ministry said yesterday. Father’s suicide A 43-year-old man, in custody in Thessaloniki’s Diavata jail since the beginning of September on charges of repeatedly raping his underage daughter, killed himself by slitting his throat with a piece of glass from a mirror, police said yesterday. Prison staff found the body of Savvas Sideras on Thursday afternoon along with a note in his wallet apologizing to his wife and children for his behavior. Sideras had attempted to kill himself once before at a detention center, the prison warden said. Railway disruptions? Services will be suspended on the Kifissia-Piraeus urban electric railway (ISAP) if there is any trouble caused by fans traveling to Rizoupoli (near Perissos station) for tonight’s soccer match between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, ISAP warned yesterday. Migrants intercepted Border police yesterday arrested a Turkish truckdriver hiding 51 illegal immigrants in his truck after stopping him around 14 kilometers north of Alexandroupolis in Thrace. The driver had been due to receive around 1,700 euros from each of the migrants upon their arrival in Athens, police said. Olympic works The Culture Ministry yesterday tabled a draft law meant to tackle legal barriers to key Olympic projects – including building restrictions at the site of a media village in Maroussi. The bill also allows state-controlled Hellenic Tourism Properties to use and manage certain Olympic venues.