NEWS

In Brief

MAY DAY

Disruptions on roads, transport due tomorrow as workers rally Traffic in central Athens will be disrupted tomorrow morning as workers participate in May Day demonstrations. The main rally in Athens – organized by the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) and the civil servants’ union (ADEDY) – starts in Syntagma Square. A parallel rally, organized by the Communist Party-backed Workers’ Militant Front (PAME), will start in Kotzia Square. Marches are also due in Thessaloniki. Meanwhile, service on the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway, buses and trolleys will be suspended from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and from 10.30 p.m. onward. The metro will run as normal. SOCCER CUP FINAL Match to be held in Nea Smyrni despite objections to likely violence The soccer Cup Final between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos on May 8 will take place at Nea Smyrni stadium, despite the mayor’s objection to hosting the encounter, the country’s soccer federation chief said yesterday. Original plans to stage the match at a new 20,000-capacity Olympic stadium in Patras were scrapped as the venue does not have security features such as high fencing and segregated stands. Subsequent efforts by soccer authorities to find an alternative venue failed amid general reluctance by local authorities to deal with likely fan violence. SECURITY SUMMIT Talks in Washington next week Security preparations for the Olympics and stability in the Balkans and Middle East are to form the focus of three days of talks in Washington next Monday between Deputy Defense Minister Vassilis Michaloliakos and the US acting assistant secretary of defense for international security policy. Bishop ordained Archbishop Christodoulos yesterday praised the role of the ecumenical patriarch, with whom he has been at odds over the appointment of three new northern bishops, following a ceremony ordaining the new Bishop of Kozani, Pavlos. «The bishopric (of Kozani) is one which preserves spiritual ties to the Mother Church, the ecumenical patriarchate, for which your respect and homage should be constant and unceasing,» Christodoulos told the new bishop. Railway renovation All 24 stations on the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway (ISAP) will be fully operational by the beginning of July despite delays in renovation works, according to Transport Minister Michalis Liapis, who added that 40 new trains will be serving the route by that time. After its revamping, the route will have the capacity to serve 600,000 passengers daily as opposed to the current 400,000, Liapis said. May Day flowers Athens municipal officials will hand out a total of 40,000 free plants at 11 a.m. tomorrow in seven central squares – Aghiou Pavlou, Plyta, Thissiou, Thymarakion, Aghiou Eleftheriou, Aghiou Thoma and Kanari, on the Fokionos Negri pedestrian street. The dispensing of plants will be accompanied by a concert in Thissiou Square to be attended by Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis. Runaway schoolboys Two teenage schoolboys who left their homes in southern Germany to travel to Greece by rail did so because they had been enthralled by television coverage of the country preparing for the Olympics, a senior official at the German Consulate in Thessaloniki said yesterday. Police had said that the boys, aged 15 and 16, had feared the wrath of their parents due to their poor school grades. LSD haul Two Thessaloniki men, aged 21 and 41, were charged with drugs offences yesterday after body searches on Wednesday revealed them to be carrying a total of 648 tabs of LSD hidden in straws.