NEWS

In Brief

TASMAN SPIRIT

Hopes that crew can go home if return for trial is guaranteed The Pakistani government has told Greek authorities it will release the five Greek crew members of the Tasman Spirit tanker if it receives adequate guarantees from the Greek government, the shipping firm Polembros and the insurance firm P&I Club that the sailors will return to Karachi if required to stand trial, the Athens News Agency quoted sources as saying yesterday. «We are ready to give the necessary guarantees,» Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis commented. Meanwhile, the Union of Greek Shipowners warned Pakistan that thousands of Pakistani jobs could be at risk unless the sailors are released. ATHLETES MOVED ATHOC relocates 20 wrestlers after hotel found to be unsanitary The Athens 2004 Organizing Committee (ATHOC) yesterday decided to move 20 female wrestlers from a hotel in western Athens to other accommodation after health checks revealed unsanitary conditions in the hotel’s restaurant. The athletes are due to participate in a three-day Olympic test event starting tomorrow at the Olympic Weightlifting Center in Ano Liosia. ATHOC spokesman Serapheim Kotrotsos said the move had been a precautionary measure, stressing that «there were no cases of infection.» The offending hotel was not named. MURDER MYSTERY Dead priest, stabbed man in car Attica police were yesterday investigating the circumstances surrounding the fatal stabbing of a 49-year-old priest who on Tuesday night was discovered in a car parked in Keratsini next to a 44-year-old man who bore severe stab wounds. Cleric Ioannis Loufakis had been stabbed in the left thigh, a wound which struck a central artery, while Nikolaos Manolakos had stab wounds all over his body, according to police who said the knife apparently used by both men had been found in the car. Officers were yesterday awaiting doctors’ permission to interview Manolakos who was in a critical condition. Anti-Olympic protest Members of 20 non-governmental organizations are to stage a demonstration outside Athens University at 7 p.m. today, protesting against the strict security measures being implemented for the Olympics and their impact on civil rights. A parallel demonstration is to be staged in Thessaloniki. The Coalition of the Radical Left – the Synaspismos Left Coalition party’s broader ticket for the elections – yesterday complained that the Olympics «have become an excuse for the development of a dangerous combination of policies and reforms in the name of security which harm the rights and freedoms of citizens.» Work site deaths There was a slight drop (5.23 percent) in the number of work site fatalities last year with 145 deaths reported in 2003 as compared to 153 in 2002, the Labor Ministry’s labor inspectorate said yesterday. A total of 119 Greeks and 26 foreigners died on site last year, the inspectorate said, adding that falls, electrocutions, bad handling of machinery and inadequate security measures had been the cause of most fatalities. Hashish haul Thessaloniki and Attica police officers yesterday confiscated 600 kilos of cannabis in simultaneous raids on a warehouse in Aspropyrgos, western Attica, and a house in Fyli on the northwestern outskirts of Attica. Officers, who were acting on a tip from police in Thessaloniki, also arrested two Gypsies and an Albanian national believed to be involved in a ring smuggling large quantities of cannabis into Greece. The three men are to face an Athens prosecutor today. Greek-Lebanese ties President Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday met his Lebanese counterpart, Emile Lahoud, in Beirut on the first day of a three-day official visit to boost political and economic ties. Highway death A 37-year-old teacher died after being run over by more than 10 cars after attempting to cross the Athens-Corinth national road near Kakia Skala following an argument with her husband last Friday, the daily Ethnos reported yesterday. The unnamed woman had asked her 44-year-old husband, also a teacher, to stop the car for her to get out. He drove on a few hundred meters before stopping and waiting for her, the daily said. The unnamed woman had then tried to cross the road when she was hit, the report said.