NEWS

In Brief

FINAL COUNT

Election committee issues results The Supreme Election Committee yesterday ratified the official results of the March 7 elections. In the final figures published, New Democracy won 3,360,424 votes (45.360 percent) and 165 of Parliament’s 300 seats. PASOK received 3,003,988 votes (40.548 percent) and 117 seats, the Communist Party got 436,818 votes (5.896 percent) and 12 seats, and Synaspismos Left Coalition won 241,714 votes (3.263 percent) and six seats. The right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) got 162,492 votes (2.193 percent) and the populist Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI) won 132,933 votes (1.794 percent). Ecstasy haul Four men have been arrested near the Thracian town of Didymoteicho, near the Turkish border, in possession of 20,000 pills of the Ecstasy drug, police said yesterday. The suspects, identified as Greek national Stavros Kakarakis, 30, and three German nationals, were held after undercover officers negotiated to buy the drugs. Police said the pills had been brought by ferry from Italy. The suspects, who got off at Igoumenitsa in two cars, had allegedly hidden the Ecstasy – which had an estimated street value of 400,000 euros – in the boot door of one of the cars. Church feud Church of Greece officials have established an «oral agreement» with the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul over the appointment of three new northern Greek bishops that could settle an eight-month turf war between the two churches, according to Archbishop Christodoulos. The head of the Church of Greece said yesterday that Patriarch Vartholomaios is expected to formally approve the deal after his return from a US trip that started on Saturday. Meanwhile, in a sermon on Saturday, six days after the national elections, Christodoulos observed that «anyone in Greece who has sought to ignore and show contempt for the Church… has been marginalized.» The Church fought a bitter campaign against the ousted Socialist government over the listing of religious belief on state identity cards. Pedophilia arrest Police in Athens have arrested a 23-year-old Greek man suspected of participation in an international ring that exchanged child pornography over the Internet, authorities said on Saturday. The man, whose name was not made public, allegedly owned a website that displayed pornographic pictures of children aged 4-16 for paying customers. Softex ruling A Thracian appeals court has ruled that 223 workers from the Drama plant of the Athens Paper Mills company (also known under the brand name Softex) were illegally sacked in August 2002, and should receive back pay. Cell death A 36-year-old Polish national died early yesterday in a cell at the Vyronas police station in Athens, where he was held pending deportation for illegally entering Greece. The man, identified as Tadeusz Kocewa, had been arrested on Saturday. Police said he was taken to hospital after complaining he felt unwell, but once there refused to be treated, whereupon he was returned to his cell.