NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC AIR TRAFFIC

Athens airport unable to handle flights expected in August, union says Athens International Airport will not be able to handle the volume of incoming air traffic to Athens during the August Olympics, the national union of civil aviation employees warned yesterday in a letter to the chiefs of the Transport Ministry, Civil Aviation Authority and Athens 2004 Organizing Committee. «The volume of aircraft is expected to be larger than that seen at the Barcelona Games, with 70 aircraft per hour at peak times,» the letter read. The union has proposed the use of Athens’s old airport «as long as the runway has been kept intact.» Unionists also called for 100 more civil aviation employee hirings. EXAM UNCONSTITUTIONAL Tests for public sector posts violated quota, limit provisions, court rules The old legislative framework for determining the way in which examinations for the state Supreme Council for Personnel Selection (ASEP) – that awards public sector jobs – are held goes against constitutional principles of equality and meritocracy, according to a ruling by the Council of State’s plenary session which court sources made public yesterday. The ruling followed an appeal by candidates of ASEP’s 1998 examination for government and local authority posts and found that the exam violated the Constitution as regards quotas and limits on candidates per prefecture, the sources said. Legislation has since been changed. VOTING INFORMATION Interior Ministry assistance Citizens can direct any questions they have about voting in Sunday’s elections to Interior Ministry officials who will be operating five telephone lines until votes are cast, the ministry said yesterday. The phone numbers are 210.323.5432/5434/5437/5442/5445. Schools shut All the country’s schools will be closed today and on Monday, due to the elections. Many will be used as voting centers. Conductor dies Conductor Dimitris Horafas died yesterday in Paris at the age of 88. Horafas, who started his career as a violinist with the National Opera, went on to conduct operas and symphony orchestras in Greece and around Europe. He was also a permanent conductor at the National Rhine Opera in Strasbourg. He is to be buried in Paris, though no date for the funeral was available yesterday. Flight delays All flights scheduled to leave airports across the country at 2 p.m. today will be delayed by 10 minutes as air-traffic controllers pay respects to their Swiss counterpart who was murdered in Zurich last Tuesday. Air-traffic controllers across Europe are also due to suspend their duties for 10 minutes. Screwdriver attacks A 30-year-old man who allegedly attacked and injured five women in Thessaloniki using a screwdriver last August is to be tried for attempted murder and inflicting grievous bodily harm, according to a decision by the Council of Misdemeanors Court Judges which was made public yesterday. Ship aground The Halkida Port Authority yesterday arrested the captain of a cargo ship which crashed into the cement base of the Evripos Bridge. None of the Christos H crew were injured but the vessel’s bows were damaged. Camera fraud Police in Thessaloniki yesterday arrested one of two men believed to have been flogging fake cameras to passers-by in the city center. In the most recent incident, a punter paid 300 euros for a digital video camera only to find a plastic imitation in the case. Ferry robber A 23-year-old man, who tried to pilfer the restaurant cash register aboard a ferry en route to Patras from Italy, was arrested by Port Authority officials upon his arrival at the Greek port on Wednesday morning, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. Bag snatcher Police yesterday arrested a 32-year-old man believed to have mugged 17 women in the Athenian districts of Peristeri and Ilion. The unnamed suspect used the proceeds to buy drugs, police said.