NEWS

In Brief

AIRPORT EXERCISE

Security forces join plane crash simulation off coast of Attica More than 400 personnel from Athens’s international airport, the Civil Aviation Authority and bodies including the police, fire brigade, coast guard and National First Aid Center yesterday participated in a rescue exercise responding to a mock plane crash in the Aegean Sea. The drill, which was carried out off the port of Porto Rafti near the airport, was a simulated response to an emergency sea landing by a passenger aircraft. The airport said the exercise was a success. PARLIAMENT OPENING House to reconvene tomorrow with swearing-in ceremony Parliament is to officially reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.. The 300 new MPs will be sworn in during a ceremony overseen by Archbishop Christodoulos. Voting to determine Parliament’s speaker and the deputy speakers will be conducted on Friday. ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM Parts to gradually open for Olympics Sections of the Athens National Archaeological Museum, which is currently closed for renovation, will gradually reopen to the public from the beginning of June with as much as possible on display by the August Olympics, Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis said yesterday after meeting the museum director. Some parts of the museum will open for the first 10 days of June with other sections opening as they are renovated, Tatoulis said. But much of the display will not be ready on time. Competition postponed An international canoeing event at the Schinias Olympic rowing center has been postponed so that work can continue on the site, The Associated Press cited Olympic planners as saying yesterday. The World Cup One canoe contest, which had been due to take place on May 7-9 has been rescheduled for June 4-6, AP said. The rowing center has hosted Olympic test events but landscaping and other work is still needed, the agency added. Advertising fines The National Broadcasting Council (ESR) yesterday imposed a 25,000-euro fine on Alter television channel for indirect advertising and fined various regional radio stations a total of 47,000 euros for the same offense. The ESR also provided an Athens prosecutor with a list of around 30 complaints from television viewers who received large telephone bills after calling ‘090’ game show numbers. Heroin ring A ring smuggling large quantities of heroin into Greece from Albania has been broken, police in Attica said yesterday following the arrest of four suspected ring members and the seizure of more than 7 kilos of the drug. Officers said they traced the ring following a tip-off that the alleged ring leader was an Albanian named Gediar who supplied several Athens dealers from a stash of smuggled drugs he kept in a basement in the district of Zografou. No troop mission The dispatch of Greek troops to Iraq was not among the matters discussed on Monday by Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos and US Ambassador to Greece Thomas Miller, a ministry source told the Athens News Agency yesterday. The source said Greece would refuse a NATO request to send troops to Afghanistan due to the extra duties armed forces staff are due to take on for the Olympic Games. Peace rally The General Confederation of Greek Labour (GSEE) and the civil servants’ union ADEDY, yesterday called upon citizens to attend a demonstration against the ongoing US occupation of Iraq, due to begin at noon on Saturday in central Syntagma Square. Parallel demonstrations are expected to take place in around 60 countries on Saturday. Dead whale The corpse of a whale was yesterday washed up on Anisara beach, near the Cretan port of Iraklion. The 3.5-meter whale was apparently killed by a yacht screw. Ship aground A passenger ferry hit the pier at Naxos’s main port as it arrived at the Aegean island yesterday afternoon but none of the 67 passengers were injured, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The collision caused a 30-centimeter crack in the Romilda’s stern.