NEWS

In Brief

PATRIARCH’S PARDON

Vartholomaios forgives Catholics for sack of Constantinople in 1204 Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios yesterday forgave Catholics for the 1204 sack of Constantinople by crusaders from the Fourth Crusade during a liturgy in Istanbul marking the 800th anniversary of the event and attended by Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon. «We cannot forget that tragic day for Constantinople and for our Patriarchate but we forgive… and we accept with satisfaction the expression of their regret and the reassurance that the West will never again undertake such an abomination against the Christians of the East,» Vartholomaios said. «It is a fact that a great sin was committed against Constantinople 800 years ago,» Cardinal Barbarin said. TRAFFIC DISRUPTIONS Works unsettle Poseidonos Avenue, Metamorphosis-Varibobi junction Work on the new tramline, linking central Athens with the southern suburbs, started yesterday on coastal Poseidonos Avenue. The exit from Poseidonos Avenue to Kallithea and Moschato is closed. Motorists heading from Palaio Faliron toward Moschato and Kallithea should turn off Poseidonos before the Delta exit at Fix Street, while drivers heading from Athens to Neo Faliron should turn off Syngrou Avenue before Amphitheas Avenue. Meanwhile, traffic around the Metamorphosis-Varibobi junction on the Athens-Lamia national road will be disrupted until May 20 and works on the Rossignol, Treis Gefyres and Lenorman bridges will disrupt traffic until Sunday. LUCKY FISHERMAN Ferry picks up stranded 72-year-old A 72-year-old amateur fisherman, who fell into the sea off Paros after his speedboat capsized early yesterday morning, was rescued after being spotted by a passenger ferry, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. It was thanks to his swimming prowess that Dimitris Zorbalas survived, according to Port Authority officials who said the elderly fisherman had been swimming for over an hour. Railway works The station of Neo Iraklion on the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway, which has been closed since last June, reopens to the public today. The Piraeus-bound platform of Victoria station also reopens, although its Kifissia-bound platform closes for renovation. The Kifissia-bound platform of Kato Patissia station closes today for works to get under way. Snake bites A Health Ministry circular issued yesterday asked all hospitals to inform it of the snake serums they require after a Corfu hospital was unable to provide a snake bite victim with the appropriate serum. Angeliki Vassilaki, 68, who was bitten by a viper on Saturday, was yesterday in a stable condition in a Ioannina hospital where she was transferred from Corfu. Hash haul Police near the Albanian border yesterday seized nearly 110 kilos of hashish from unidentified smugglers who fled after abandoning five sacks containing the drugs near the village of Kastani. The men fled back into Albania after being spotted by Greek border guards, police said. Turkish violations Four formations of Turkish fighter jets yesterday entered the Athens Flight Information Region four times and violated Greek national air space between Lemnos and Lesvos eight times, military officials said. The 12 Turkish jets were chased off by as many Greek aircraft and there were three simulated dogfights. Power protest Residents of Skiathos yesterday blocked the main port of the island with fishing boats in protest against plans by the Public Power Corporation to set up electricity pylons to supply the island with power. Residents do not object to original plans to bring electricity to the island using an underwater cable starting from Pelion, but they complain that the planned extension of the power distribution across the island, using pylons in residential areas and forestland, would pose a threat to the environment and to their health. Albanian visit Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis is today due to meet his Albanian counterpart and Prime Minister Fatos Nano in Tirana for talks on Olympic security and bilateral issues. Voulgarakis is to be accompanied by police chief Fotis Nasiakos and National Intelligence Service head Pavlos Apostolidis.