NEWS

In Brief

KOKKALIS PROBE

Prosecutor asks Germany for access to businessman’s alleged accounts The Chief of Appeals Court Prosecutors, Antonis Plomaritis, yesterday asked the German authorities to allow the Greek judiciary access to bank accounts held there by software tycoon Socrates Kokkalis. Plomaritis asked for the confidentiality of the alleged accounts to be lifted as part of an investigation of the businessman on charges of bribery, spying, fraud and money laundering. Greece is to direct a similar appeal toward the Swiss government soon, sources said. OLYMPIC FLAME International leg of torch relay begins with flight to Sydney The Olympic Flame is to be taken from its altar at the Panathinaic Stadium tomorrow and flown to Sydney, where it will begin its tour of five continents. Athens 2004 Organizing Committee President Gianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki is to hand over the flame to the crew of the aircraft at Athens’s international airport at 8.30 p.m. following a ceremony at the Panathinaic Stadium at 7.30 p.m. The flame is due to return to Greece in early July. DEADLY MEMORIAL Woman dies, scores ailing A 74-year-old woman died and more than 100 others were suffering from food poisoning yesterday after eating kollyva (boiled wheat with sugar) at five different memorial services in Volos, Larissa and Farsala. According to doctors, Athanassia Lagou died of toxic poisoning after eating the wheat, traditionally offered at memorial services. Meanwhile, another 64 people were hospitalized in Volos and 40 in Larissa. It was not clear yesterday what substance caused the poisoning. Police were seeking the owner of the patisserie which made the kollyva. Price freeze? Producers, retailers and businessmen yesterday pledged not to hike up prices during the Olympics, Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said yesterday, following a meeting with representatives of several major business associations and labor unions. Disabled access Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos yesterday issued a circular to all ministries and regional administration headquarters, appealing for steps to be taken to ensure that public offices offer better access and facilities to the disabled. The circular called for cooperation between organizations «for the development of accessible information centers and for a campaign to inform and sensitize all citizens to… the needs and rights of people with disabilities.» Quake A moderate undersea quake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale struck the Corinthian Gulf just after 3 a.m. yesterday, but no injuries or damage were reported. The epicenter was located 8 kilometers northeast of Aigion. Traffic disruptions Traffic on Marathonos Avenue – for a stretch of about 1.5 kilometers between Spata and Pallini – will be disrupted for the next two months as works on the Olympic marathon route get underway. Traffic will be restricted to the Marathon-bound side, which will be divided into two lanes. Works which started yesterday on Kymis, Veikou and Galatsiou avenues will cause nightly traffic disruptions for the next 30 days. ELA trial A witness to the attempted murder of trade union chief Giorgos Raftopoulos by the Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) in 1987 yesterday told an Athens court that the car from which Raftopoulos had been attacked was an orange Lada. Last week, another witness Giorgos Dimitropoulos testified that Raftopoulos was shot from a red Skoda which, he claimed, had the same registration number as the car of ELA suspect Michalis Kassimis. Family killed A 51-year-old man, his 52-year-old wife and their 25-year-old daughter were all killed yesterday in a road accident involving five cars just outside the northern town of Alexandroupolis. The accident occurred when Gurami Symeonidis, 47, crashed into a car and veered into oncoming traffic, where his car hit another three vehicles. Dimitris Deliyiannoudis, his wife Anastasia and their daughter Triantafyllia were killed instantly. Symeonidis and 19-year-old Panayiota Mavrikou, who was in another car, were injured.