NEWS

In Brief

HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Traffic police prepare for exodus, warn against speeding, drink driving Traffic police will be monitoring key junctions of the national road network from tomorrow in preparation for a major exodus from the capital as Athenians take advantage of Monday’s public holiday to leave the capital. An extra lane of traffic will be opened for outbound traffic on the Athens-Corinth national road at Elefsina and Kakia Skala. Trucks weighing over 1.5 tons will be banned from key sections of major roads over the weekend to avoid bottlenecks. In Attica, police said there would be a crackdown on speeding and drink driving. OLYMPIC PHARMACIES More outlets to operate day and night in key areas during Games More all-day and all-night pharmacies will be operating in central Athens, Piraeus and in areas near Olympic venues during the Games, according to an agreement between Athens 2004 organizers and representatives of the country’s pharmaceutical sector which was made public yesterday. The deal will be implemented from August 2 until September 4. ELA TRIAL Witnesses deny knowledge of blasts An Athens court which is trying five suspected members of the Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) terrorist group yesterday examined a total of30 prosecution witnesses regarding 15 bombings carried out by the group. The witnesses said they knew nothing about the attacks and several claimed they could not understand why they had been called to testify. Helandari Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica (r) stands in front of the gutted Helandari Monastery, an 800-year-old walled complex inhabited by Serbian monks in the Mount Athos monastic community, about half of which was wrecked by fire on March 4. Kostunica, in Greece for a Balkan business conference in Thessaloniki, promised financial aid with the rebuilding effort. Helandari is one of the holiest Serbian sanctuaries. New bishops Three new bishops of sees in northern Greece yesterday pledged to respect the holy canons, national traditions and laws in a ceremony attended by President Costis Stephanopoulos, Education and Religion Minister Marietta Giannakou and Archbishop Christodoulos. Bishop Nikolaos of Mesogaia, Bishop Chrysostomos of Eleftheroupolis and Bishop Pavlos of Kozani were ordained by Christodoulos last month, despite protests by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios. The Church of Greece and the Patriarchate are embroiled in a turf war over 36 northern bishoprics. Traffic disruptions Traffic on the first two kilometers of the Vari-Koropi Avenue will be disrupted from today as roadworks get underway. Motorists should follow the diversion signs. Also from today, there will be traffic disruptions on Marathonos Avenue between the 11th and 13th kilometer marks spanning the municipalities of Rafina and Nea Makri. Rape Two foreign nationals, aged 33 and 40, were charged yesterday with raping a 23-year-old Greek woman whom they had allegedly forced into their car in central Omonia at around 3 p.m. on Tuesday. The men allegedly drove the woman to a basement apartment in Neos Cosmos where they repeatedly raped her. The woman managed to escape and inform police. Police awards National Bank of Greece Chairman Takis Arapoglou yesterday thanked 13 police officers for helping track down five armed robbers and recover their 94,000-euro loot following a February raid on an NBG branch in Sourmena, southern Athens. Arapoglou gave each officer a financial reward.