Culture Ministry says will not charge entrance to fenced hill The Culture Ministry yesterday denied press reports it might be planning to charge visitors admission to the recently fenced-off Philopappou Hill in central Athens – which contains several ancient remains, including a lavish funeral monument for the second century AD Roman Consul Gaius Julius Antiochus Philopappus. A recent ministerial decision, which includes a reference to tickets at certain archaeological sites or monuments, does not apply to the hill, the ministry said. The hill, opposite the Acropolis, also boasts sections of the ancient walls of Athens and several ancient rock-cut chambers. Local residents fiercely opposed the fence, fearing an entrance fee would soon be levied. The ministry said the measure was only for security reasons and to protect the antiquities. EARTHQUAKE 5.2-level tremor on Albanian border shakes Florina, Kastoria but no injuries A moderately strong earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale occurred near the Albanian border just after 4.30 a.m. yesterday but no injuries or damage were reported. The quake, whose epicenter was located 70 kilometers west of Florina, was felt across the prefectures of Florina and Kastoria. STORE HOURS No changes for Olympics, union says The General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) said yesterday that it would not accept unilaterally imposed changes in store hours, responding to statements by government officials and press reports regarding the possibility of extended hours during the August 13-29 Olympics. «Under no circumstances will we accept changes to the law and violations of collective labor contracts even during the Olympic Games,» GSEE said. Domino effect The owners of an Athens factory which collapsed during the 1999 earthquake, killing 43 people, yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court to revoke compensation awards to the victims’ families. They also called for a meeting of the court’s plenary session to clarify certain «serious legal issues.» The owners of the Ricomex household goods factory are charged with «murder with possible malice aforethought.» Yesterday’s appeal follows a court ruling on Monday that rejected the «murder with possible malice aforethought» charges brought against the owners of another Athens factory that collapsed in the quake, killing eight people. Three of the defendants were convicted of manslaughter. Holy flame The holy flame from the grave of Jesus Christ, which will be used to light the candles of Orthodox believers celebrating the Resurrection on Saturday night, is to arrive at Athens Airport on Saturday afternoon. The flame, after being lit at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, will be accompanied to Greece by a delegation including the deputy foreign and culture ministers, Panayiotis Skandalakis and Petros Tatoulis respectively. No fireworks The mayor of Marathokambos on Samos yesterday suspended the local Easter tradition of setting off homemade fireworks after a 35-year-old islander was fatally injured on Tuesday when a firework he was trying to make exploded in his hands. Meanwhile, police in Attica arrested two men and a woman after over 150,000 fireworks were found in a Peristeri convenience store and a Piraeus basement. Lawyer’s antics The Athens Bar Association yesterday suspended criminal lawyer Alexandros Kouyias from practicing law for five months after he disrupted a live television debate about the past of one of his clients, former PASOK MP Stavros Vrentzos. Kouyias’s behavior during an episode of the «Jungle» talk show hosted by Makis Triantafyllopoulos was «disgraceful,» the association’s disciplinary council ruled. Kouyias shouted and insulted guests after interrupting an episode of the talk show last month. Maintenance works Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias yesterday approved 7.24 million euros in funding for the maintenance of green areas and traffic lights on key Athens roads which form part of routes to be used during the Olympic Games. The roads to be included in the revamping scheme are Vouliagmenis, Alimou, Karea, Katehaki, Athinon, Schistou, Skaramanga, Kifissou, Poseidonos, Syngrou, Mesogeion and Kifissias.