NEWS

In Brief

NICOSIA – New mayor in almost 30 years as Lellos Demetriades bows out The Cypriot capital of Nicosia got its first new mayor in almost 30 years on Sunday. Michael Zampelas, a 64-year-old Greek-Cypriot chartered accountant, who ran as an independent with the backing of the right-wing Democratic Rally party, scraped to victory with 50.09 percent of votes against 48.52 percent for Kypros Chrysostomides who was backed by leftist and centrist parties. Zampelas replaces Lellos Demetriades, who had been the mayor of Nicosia since 1972 but did not seek re-election. Demetriades, in an interview, described himself as center-right but not a fanatic. OLYMPICS Municipalities fail to block Kifissias Avenue flyover Four municipalities that border a planned flyover at an intersection on Kifissias Avenue which is expected to play a major role in speeding up access to the Athens Olympic Complex in time for the 2004 Games have failed to block the project. The Council of State, the highest administrative court, rejected the demand for a temporary injunction by the municipalities of Neo Psychico, Palaio Psychico, Filothei and Halandri. They claim that the ministerial decision accepting an environmental impact report on the intersection at the Faros interchange should be thrown out. The court ruled that the project was aimed at improving access to the Olympic Games. The formal hearing will be on January 11, 2002. FERRIES Work stoppages on Rio-Antirio line Officers on the small ferries plying the Rio-Antirio route between the Peloponnese and Western Greece will be holding four-hour work stoppages from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on December 18, 19 and 20. Thy are demanding more berths for their vessels. Strikes. Primary and secondary school teachers gathered yesterday outside the Education Ministry to push their demands for more government funding and for more teaching posts in Attica. They were joined in their three-hour strike by members of the Civil Servants’ Union (ADEDY) and the Civil Aviation Workers’ Union (YPA). The teachers are also demanding an overhaul of legislation governing teacher recruitment and, more specifically, that the 2000 empty teaching posts at technical high schools be filled. Immigration proposals. Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to receive a letter proposing solutions to his government’s disastrous application procedures for immigrants, the Social Support Network for Refugees and Immigrants said during an interview yesterday. The letter reportedly asks the government to grant a six-month extension for all immigrants whose temporary residence permits are about to expire, to simplify the second phase of the application procedure and to amend the current legal provisions which trap immigrants. Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis last week agreed to provide the funds to hire 350 temporary staffers to aid Labor Office staff struggling to process a backlog of applications from immigrants. Press strike. The Athens Journalists Association (ESIEA) yesterday called on all journalists to join in an industry strike from 1-4 p.m. on Thursday, to protest at a spate of recent sackings. Historic island. The Cycladic island of Yaros yesterday was declared a historic site deserving of state protection by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos. Yaros, used by the government as a place of exile for leftists and dissidents throughout the last century, was chosen for the distinction due to its inextricable link to modern Greek history. Swans. Hunters who kill swans will now have a price of 500,000 drachmas on their heads, following a public appeal by the National Hunting Association. The association is seeking to identify those responsible for the recent slaughter of dozens of the migratory birds. Multi-million mugging. Police are searching for a young man in his mid- to late 20s after a husband and wife were mugged and robbed of 50 million drachmas in Athens’s Agios Panteleimonas district early yesterday morning. Rafaela and Epameinondas Flery, both 67, were held up at gunpoint by a young man just a few meters from their house at the junction of the Isaki and Antiocheia roads. The elderly man was carrying a bag containing 50 million in takings from his petrol company, which the young man made off with. The couple were not hurt.