NEWS

In Brief

VRENTZOS

PASOK MP files four suits following junta torture claims PASOK deputy for Iraklion Stavros Vrentzos yesterday lodged four two-million euro defamation suits against two men who claimed he had tortured them during the 1967-74 military dictatorship, and against journalist Makis Triantafyllopoulos and Alter television channel who aired the allegations. Vrentzos, 58, who offered on Monday not to stand for re-election should the claims on Sunday’s «Kitrinos Typos» show prove to be true, said he was not a torturer for the junta but its victim. He claimed that the allegations had been intended to discredit him and thus influence voters ahead of elections. BOW MARINER Body of Greek officer from tanker sinking recovered off US One of the three corpses recovered off Virginia in the US last Sunday following the sinking of the Bow Mariner tanker was yesterday identified as the vessel’s 43-year-old Greek first mate, Spyros Melles. Meanwhile, the search continued for 15 of the tanker’s 27-strong crew who were still missing. The Bow Mariner’s captain and first engineer, Stratos Kavouras, 52, and Legantis Athanassiou, 47, were among the 15 still missing yesterday. The Norwegian-owned tanker, which sank in the Atlantic following an explosion on Sunday, had been carrying 11,000 tons of ethanol, a highly flammable fuel additive. POLITICS COVERAGE Probe postponed until after elections The National Broadcasting Council is postponing a probe into the proportional airtime provided to political parties by television and radio channels until after Sunday’s elections, in accordance with a joint decision by Press Minister Christos Protopapas and Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis made public yesterday. «Our hands are tied,» the council’s president Ioannis Laskarides said yesterday. NET, ET-1 and Teleasty channels, all summoned by the council yesterday to explain why they have not provided the requested data about their political broadcasts, are to face the council after the elections. Poet dies Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday expressed his sorrow over the death of Cypriot poet Costas Montis at the age of 90 on Monday. «The government and the people of our embittered country bow before a great poet who, in death, has become immortal,» Papadopoulos said in a written statement. Primarily a poet, with dozens of collections published in his name, Montis also wrote for theater and co-founded Cyprus’s Lyriko Theater. Exit polls Polling firms will be allowed to conduct exit polls on Sunday when general elections are under way, the Interior Ministry reminded electoral clerks yesterday. It noted, however, that the polls should be conducted outside polling stations – and a considerable distance away from them, so that voters are not bothered. Paralympic transport Around 4,000 athletes due to compete in the September Paralympics will be driven to and from sports venues in 300 specially designed buses to be provided by the Athens public bus company (ETHEL), according to an agreement signed yesterday by the managing directors of ETHEL and the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee (ATHOC). Anti-Olympic protest Around 150 anarchists and leftists gathered in central Athens yesterday to protest against the August Olympics and the massive security measures being planned to ensure that the Games are safe. No violent episodes were reported. IKA tests Citizens insured with the Social Security Foundation (IKA) will henceforth be able to make appointments for diagnostic tests by telephoning 184, IKA said yesterday. Election traffic An extra lane of traffic will be available on the Athens-Corinth national road to facilitate city-dwellers leaving Athens for their voting districts from 2-9 p.m. on Friday, 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, and 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sunday. An extra lane will also be freed for those returning to the capital from 2 p.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday.