NEWS

In Brief

PASOK

MP offers to resign after claims he was a torturer during junta PASOK deputy for Iraklion Stavros Vrentzos yesterday tendered his resignation to party chief George Papandreou after three people who were conscripts during the 1967-74 military dictatorship and were jailed on suspicion of being leftists, charged that they had been tortured by Vrentzos at the time. The allegations were made on Sunday on Makis Triantafyllopoulos’s «Kitrinos Typos» television show. PASOK said it would await the outcome of a legal investigation into Vrentzos’s activities before deciding on the MP’s fate. Earlier yesterday, Vrentzos presented PASOK General Secretary Michalis Chrysochoidis with evidence that refuted the allegations, PASOK MEP Anna Diamantopoulou said. KARACHI FIVE FM appeals to EC president to pressure Pakistan for release of tanker crew Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis yesterday sent a letter to European Commission President Romano Prodi asking him to urge the Pakistani government to repatriate five Greek seamen who remain under house arrest in Karachi. At a summit with his European Union counterparts last month, Yiannitsis appealed to the EU to put pressure on Pakistan to release the sailors. The Tasman Spirit caused a massive oil spill when it sank off Karachi last August. VISA APPEAL Embassies asked to aid returns The Foreign Ministry yesterday appealed to Greek embassies in Albania, Georgia, Ukraine and other countries not covered by the Schengen agreement to speed up the visa-issuing process for dual nationals wanting to return to Greece this weekend. Warheads ‘legal’ Authorities on Syros yesterday released the 10-member crew of a Ukrainian cargo ship after state inspectors determined that three rocket warheads found aboard the vessel were legal although they had not been declared correctly. The St Vincent and Grenadines-flagged Balkan Star was transporting three warheads from Algeria to Ukraine, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Cyprus talks Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis is to meet with the US State Department’s envoy for Cyprus, Thomas Weston, in Athens this morning. Synaspismos rally Synaspismos Left Coalition will be holding its main election rally in central Kotzia Sq at 7 p.m. today. Museums closed Museums and archaeological sites nationwide will be closed to visitors this Sunday for the general elections, the Culture Ministry said yesterday. Mobile voters Owners of cars, motorcycles or scooters who have had their driving license or registration plates confiscated for parking offenses will have them returned as of March 4 so that they can travel to their voting districts ahead of Sunday’s elections. Motorists who have had their license or plates seized for drunken driving, speeding or driving without insurance will not be able to claim them back in order to vote. Robber thwarted A bank clerk yesterday disarmed a 39-year-old man who had threatened staff with an airgun and stolen 10,000 euros in Maroussi. The clerk chased Ioannis Siorovigas and relieved him of his weapon a short distance from the bank. Police arrested the suspect. Water charge Citizens who used more water than usual from Feb. 13-16, when much of the country was affected by heavy snow, will be charged the amount they paid during the same period last year, according to a decision announced yesterday by the Environment and Public Works Ministry. Last year’s charges will not apply if consumption is lower than last year’s for same period. Rally disruptions Athens’s trolley service and other traffic will be disrupted from 3 p.m. tomorrow due to the Communist Party’s political rally which is due to begin at 7 p.m. at the junction of Patission and Alexandras avenues in central Athens. The disruptions will continue until the rally is over. Opposition New Democracy and ruling PASOK will also hold political rallies there on Thursday and Friday respectively.