NEWS

In Brief

ELECTION REGULATIONS

Citizens living far from their voting district can no longer abstain Citizens living more than 200 kilometers (124 miles) from their voting district will not be excused from voting – as they had been in the past – under new provisions enabling voters to cast their ballots where they live rather than in their voting district, according to an Interior Ministry circular distributed yesterday. Failure to vote can result in jail sentences ranging from a month to a year as well as the forfeiture of official posts, the circular said. ROAD SAFETY Dozens of radar speed traps to be set up at dangerous points Nine-and-a-half-million euros will be invested in setting up dozens of radar speed traps at key points of the national road network as part of a European Union-backed road safety project, according to a decision by Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou made public yesterday. A total of 75 devices are to be rotated around 610 points – covering 3,500 kilometers (2,173 miles) of the national road network – where the majority of accidents occur. IKA DOCTORS Three-day strike begins tomorrow Social Security Foundation (IKA) clinics will be operating on skeleton staff from tomorrow until Friday as IKA doctors stage a three-day strike. The action by the doctors, who are demanding permanency for more than 5,000 colleagues on short-term contracts, coincides with a debate in Parliament regarding new legislation on the transformation of short-term contract to open-ended ones. Athens roadworks Traffic will be suspended on the section of Mitropoleos Street between Voulis and Aeolou streets in central Athens from tomorrow until March 10 as pedestrianization and road resurfacing works get under way, the company undertaking the unification of the capital’s archaeological sites announced yesterday. Drivers heading for Athinas Street should turn left into Voulis, then right into Apollonos, right into Adrianou, right into Aeolou and access Athinas Street via Ermou, the company said. Hit and run A 29-year-old truckdriver, involved in a hit-and-run accident on Saturday in which a 20-year-old woman was killed, was yesterday charged with manslaughter and abandonment of a victim after he surrendered to police in Kalamos, north of Attica, on Sunday. Constantinos Hormovitis hit the car being driven by Penelope Spala after running a red light and crashed into several other cars as he tried to flee, police said. Accident compensation The Council of State has ruled that a man who lost his right leg after being hit by a municipal garbage truck in 1983 – when he was 14 – should be paid 27,609 euros in damages by the Athens Municipality, court sources said yesterday. The sum represents the amount of money the unnamed man would have made from 1995 to 1997 in his job as a car body repairer’s assistant if he had not been deprived of the use of his leg, the sources said. Tasman Spirit Top government officials meeting at the Foreign Ministry yesterday resolved to exert more pressure on Pakistani authorities for the repatriation of five Greek crew members of the Tasman Spirit tanker who are under house arrest in Karachi. The Greek-owned tanker broke apart off Pakistan last August, causing extensive pollution. A fast one Three unidentified men, who posed as police officers in a car with a flashing light, forced the manager of a Goody’s fast-food outlet in Glyfada to stop his car just after 2 a.m. yesterday. They then drove Efthimios Stavropoulos back to the restaurant with a bag over his head, stealing 3,000 euros and fleeing in his car. Fuel traders Gas station owners yesterday decided to suspend a strike scheduled for Monday after reaching a compromise with the government. Tsatsaronis Costas Tsatsaronis, a veteran foreign correspondent for German media and former president of the Foreign Press Association, died yesterday in Evangelismos Hospital after a long illness. He was 71. Tsatsaronis served as president of the FPA for more than a decade. His funeral will be held tomorrow at 3.30 p.m. at the First Cemetery.