NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC SECURITY

Drill testing Athens’s readiness to tackle terrorist attack starts today A four-day security exercise, aimed at testing Athens’s readiness to tackle a possible terrorist attack during the Olympics, begins today with the participation of around 300 security personnel, Olympic organizing committee members and international security experts. «Olympic Guardian II» – organized by the Defense and Public Order ministries in cooperation with US authorities and the Olympic Advisory Council – is the second phase of a drill performed last November at the US troops’ European command center in Stuttgart, Germany. 2004 PARKING Residents of ‘red zones’ have until Saturday to apply for access permits Attica residents living or working near Olympic venues have until Saturday to submit their applications for a special pass allowing them to drive and park in the forbidden «red zones» where security will be heightened during the Games. Only 2,000 applications have been made, from an estimated minimum of 15,000 eligible citizens. Those who live or work in the special zones will receive a car sticker indicating their right to access. GYPSY SHOOTING Policeman’s murder trial postponed The trial of a motorcycle policeman charged with the murder of a 21-year-old Gypsy in Zefyri, western Athens, two years ago, was postponed yesterday until March next year. Giorgos Tylianakis, whose trial was postponed due to alleged health problems, was released on an 8,804-euro bail payment. Tylianakis, who shot Marinos Christopoulos when he refused to stop at a road block on October 24 2001, claims that his gun went off by accident. Roadworks Drivers will have unhindered access to Vari-Koropi Avenue by the end of June at the latest when construction under way will have been completed, Public Order Minister Giorgos Souflias said yesterday. Souflias appealed to motorists to temporarily avoid the 13-kilometer (8-mile) road – which connects Athens’s southeastern and coastal suburbs with Attiki Odos – so that works can be completed quickly. EU contribution Greece’s contribution to the European Commission’s budget for 2004 will be 91 million euros less than anticipated, the Commission said yesterday. The announcement came after the Commission closed the budget for 2003, which showed a 5.47-billion-euro surplus. Shoddy work The municipal authority of Korydallos yesterday sued the Public Power Corporation (PPC) for allegedly leaving local roads in a mess after digging them up to carry out works on underground cables. Municipal officials claim that PPC repeatedly ignored their appeals to fill in potholes and cracks in the tarmac following shoddy repairs by the corporation’s workers. Teachers protest Secondary and primary school teachers are to stage a three-hour work stoppage tomorrow, demanding permanency for teachers on short-term contracts. The teachers are to hold a protest rally outside the Education Ministry. Fraud arrests Two Greek men have been arrested for allegedly defrauding banks out of at least 100,000 euros by taking out loans using forged identity papers, police said yesterday. Officers said they confiscated piles of forged documents from the Athens home of one of the suspects and 400 grams of cannabis from the home of the other. Iraqi torture A group of 70 PASOK deputies and one Left Coalition Synaspismos MP yesterday called for the US government to actively condemn the alleged torture suffered by Iraqi detainees at the hands of US soldiers. In a letter made public yesterday, the MPs called for a debate on the subject at the next session of the Council of Europe. «The Greek government condemns violence, wherever it springs from,» spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said yesterday. Factory fire A fire that broke out yesterday at a wood-processing workshop on the Thermi-Triadio country road on the outskirts of Thessaloniki caused an estimated 200,000 euros in damage, the fire brigade said.