NEWS

In Brief

EU CONSTITUTION

Greeks most keen, after Italians but unwilling to make concessions Greeks are among the most keen of all 25 European Union member and candidate state citizens as regards the establishment of a European Constitution, but among the least willing to make any concessions for its introduction, according to the results of a Eurobarometer poll made public yesterday. Eighty-nine percent of Greeks polled said they believed Europe needed a constitution, compared an EU average of 77 percent. But 44 percent of Greeks said they would make no concessions to achieve such a constitution, as compared to a 28 percent average. TOURIST INFORMATION Tourism board opens new center in central Athens, ‘more to be set up’ Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos yesterday inaugurated the Greek National Tourism Organization’s new digital tourist information center on 26, Amalias Avenue, in central Athens. Tsochadzopoulos said the inauguration was a significant, albeit delayed, step toward providing information to those visiting Greece. He added that there were plans to establish more such centers in Athens and in other Greek cities – especially the Olympic host cities of Thessaloniki, Patras, Iraklion and Volos. DOPING ALLEGATIONS Prosecutor asked to investigate Deputy Culture Minister Giorgos Lianis, who is responsible for sports, yesterday asked Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos to order a preliminary investigation following reports in the British press alleging that a Greek coach procured performance-enhancing drugs for track-and-field athletes. Earlier yesterday, Christos Tzekos, the coach of two Greek sprinters, said he would sue the Observer newspaper for linking him to the banned steroid THG. The Sunday article reported that the American owner of a firm producing performance-enhancing drugs e-mailed an unidentified Greek coach, warning that THG had become detectable. Tzekos’s photograph was featured in the article. Anti-Olympic protest Hundreds of demonstrators marched through central Athens last night to protest against large-scale security measures planned for the August Olympics. The protesters held up traffic for about an hour as they marched to Parliament before dispersing peacefully. ‘Undermining democracy’ A decision by the Hellenic Data Protection Authority to issue Olympic Airlines with a three-month permit allowing the carrier to provide US authorities with details of passengers traveling to the USA (subject to the passengers’ approval) contravenes Greek and European law, Synaspismos Left Coalition MEP Alekos Alavanos said yesterday. The move constitutes «an undermining of the democratic guarantees that the Greek and European legal systems offer the Greek… citizen,» Alavanos said. Thessaloniki museum The Gold of Macedon Room of Thessaloniki’s Archaeological Museum is to be closed until Friday as preparations get under way for a rearrangement of the exhibition, the Culture Ministry said yesterday. The adjacent exhibition on the Thessaloniki area during prehistory will remain open, the ministry said. Migrants detained Coast guard officials on Leros yesterday detained a group of eight illegal immigrants – two men, two women and four children – who had reached the nearby islet of Farmakonissi from neighboring Turkey, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Police protest Police officers and fire service workers yesterday staged a protest in uniform in the Cretan port of Hania, demanding that their jobs be recognized as hazardous and a health risk. Agrinion quake A quake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale struck western Greece just before 11 a.m. yesterday but no damage or injuries were reported. Murderer’s appeal A physiotherapist serving a life sentence in Korydallos Prison for murdering two women and raping another 14 yesterday appeared before a council of judges to defend his appeal for early release. A prosecutor has recommended the conditional release of Spyros Beskos, who has served more than half of his sentence. A decision is due in the next few days.