NEWS

In Brief

KARATZAS DEAD

National Bank of Greece governor’s demise ‘leaves an irreplaceable void’ National Bank of Greece Governor Theodoros Karatzas died yesterday aged 73 at the Athens Hygeia hospital following complications from surgery for stomach cancer. The governor of Greece’s biggest bank since 1996, Karatzas served as deputy economy minister from 1987 to 1988. «The loss… leaves an irreplaceable void,» Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said yesterday. VRENTZOS CONTROVERSY Court bans TV channel, journalist from referring to junta torture claims An Athens court yesterday issued a temporary order banning Alter television channel and journalist Makis Triantafyllopoulos from referring to allegations that PASOK MP for Iraklion Stavros Vrentzos worked as a torturer for the junta during the 1967-74 dictatorship, aired on the station’s «Kitrinos Typos» show last Sunday. The ruling also included a ban on Triantafyllopoulos from mentioning the matter on any other television or radio station. Vrentzos has offered not to stand for re-election if the claims prove to be true. RALLY DISRUPTIONS Bus and trolley routes to be diverted Bus and trolley routes which normally cross the junction of Alexandras and Patission avenues in central Athens are to be diverted today and tomorrow from 3 p.m. until late evening due to rallies scheduled by opposition New Democracy and ruling PASOK respectively. Extra buses will be running to and from the center of Athens to facilitate commuters wishing to join the rallies. Hospital exercise An exercise designed to test the readiness of the state machinery in dealing with a possible terrorist attack using chemical or biological weapons was successfully carried out at the Sismanogleio hospital yesterday. A special unit set up within the hospital to tackle such an eventuality is a model for other countries, according to Health Minister Costas Stefanis, who attended the exercise. Misleading tender? The Council of Misdemeanours Court Judges ruled yesterday that the president of the state horse-racing organization and the organization’s board members should be tried for allegedly intentionally excluding certain companies from a 1999 tender for the construction and operation of equestrian centers at Markopoulo and in Thessaloniki, and for operating bets on horse racing. Detainee suicide A 24-year-old man convicted for theft was found hanged in his cell at the police station of Pallini, east of Athens, yesterday afternoon. Nikolaos Patrinelis, who was to be transferred to Amfissa Prison, committed suicide just before 5 p.m., after a visit from his father at 4 p.m., according to police who are conducting an internal investigation into the incident. Mortar injury A 32-year-old Chios civilian was in a critical condition in a local hospital yesterday after a mortar shell exploded while he was gathering army ammunition from a military firing range in the island’s Kato Fana area. A National First Aid Center helicopter was due to transfer Giorgos Kougiavlos to a hospital in Athens. Poseidonos Avenue Traffic on the section of Poseidonos Avenue between Zisimopoulos Street and the Esplanada area will be disrupted over the next month due to ongoing tram works in the area, traffic police said yesterday. Sick soldiers A total of 63 conscripts at the military training camp for signal corp soldiers in Haidari, western Athens, were struck by a mild form of gastroenteritis yesterday, a camp spokesman said. The poisoning has been attributed to a virus rather than a problem with camp food but conclusive test results were unavailable last night. Dogs poisoned Police in Serres were yesterday seeking the culprits behind the fatal poisoning of 25 sheep dogs in the agricultural hamlet of Neos Skopos. Beehive aid A total of 5,528 beekeepers across the country are to receive state subsidies for 80 percent of the cost of replacing 91,600 beehives, under a decision by the Agriculture Ministry yesterday.