NEWS

In Brief

EUROPEAN ELECTIONS

Draft dodgers promised impunity for June 13 vote and August Games Draft dodgers living abroad will be allowed into Greece to vote in next month’s European elections without any inquiries regarding their military service, according to yesterday’s joint decision by the Defense and Interior ministries. The decision also applies to draft dodgers visiting Greece between August 1 and September 30 to attend the Olympics or Paralympics. Voting in Greece will take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on June 13, according to a presidential decree made public in the Government Gazette yesterday. OLYMPIC DRILL Ministers and security chiefs meet ahead of new exercise for Games Half the Cabinet as well as security services chiefs and senior officials of the Olympic Games organizing committee are to convene at the Public Order Ministry today to discuss the second phase of a security exercise aimed at testing Athens’s readiness to tackle a possible terrorist attack during the Olympics. «Olympic Guardian II,» which follows a drill last November at the US troops’ European command center in Stuttgart, is scheduled to run from Thursday until Sunday. POLICEMAN CRITICAL Son triggers his service gun A 42-year-old policeman was yesterday in critical condition after being shot in the neck and the arm on Sunday night while his 13-year-old son was examining his service revolver at a friend’s home in Aghia Paraskevi. Evstathios Lymberopoulos had been comparing weapons with his friend, who works for the coast guard, when the 13-year-old boy asked to look at his father’s gun. The revolver went off twice while in the boy’s hands. Jobless figures Statistics for unemployment in Greece will henceforth be calculated on the basis of the 2001 census, the new secretary-general of the National Statistics Service said yesterday. Manolis Kontopyrakis admitted that jobless data has been based on 1991 census figures up until now. According to figures made public by the service at the end of last month, unemployment dropped by 0.7 percent last year, reaching 9.3 percent. Arson attack Unidentified arsonists early yesterday morning set fire to a car belonging to Piraeus Deputy Prefect Christos Angelis, which had been parked outside a block of flats in Anixi, on the northern outskirts of Athens. The blaze was extinguished by the fire brigade, while the extent of damage to the vehicle was unclear. Piraeus Prefect Yiannis Michas described the attack as an attempt by criminal gangs to scare Angelis.. Nurses strike Nursing staff at state hospitals are to stage a three-hour work stoppage from noon tomorrow to demand higher wages and more staff on the occasion of International Nurses Day. Protesters also want their jobs recognized as a health risk Prince Charles Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, arrived at the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos yesterday afternoon for his annual visit to the northern monastic community, the Athens News Agency reported. Change of colors? Veteran former world javelin-throwing recordswoman Sofia Sakorafa is seeking to compete at the Athens Olympics under the flag of Palestine. The International Olympic Committee is expected to rule on the 47-year old former Socialist MP’s bid next Tuesday. Canadian visit The chief of Canada’s armed forces, General Raymond Henault, yesterday asked Deputy Defense Minister Vassilis Michaloliakos for Greek support in security planning for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the ministry said. Henault, who is on an official visit to Athens, was briefed on security preparations for the Games. Roadwork Road resurfacing work which started yesterday on Ardittou Avenue in central Athens will cause disruption in traffic bound toward Vouliagmenis Avenue until early on Sunday morning, the Public Works Ministry said. The works are to be conducted between midnight and 5 a.m. daily, the ministry said.