NEWS

In Brief

PRESTIGE APPEAL

Minister asks Spain to reconsider releasing detained tanker captain Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis yesterday asked the Spanish government to reconsider releasing the Greek captain of the Prestige tanker during a summit with his European Union counterparts in Luxembourg. Apostolos Mangouras – captain of the Prestige which caused a massive oil spill when it sank off the Spanish coast in November 2002 – has been banned from leaving Spain pending trial. Greece has accused Spanish authorities of using Mangouras as a scapegoat for its own mistakes. Other matters discussed during yesterday’s summit include the tightening of port security and the imposition of fines for vessels which cause marine pollution. OLYMPIC BILL PM asked for details of procurements for Games following Rogge criticism Independent MP Stefanos Manos yesterday asked Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis for details of all transactions carried out for Olympic procurements after International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge criticized Greece for overspending. In a question tabled in Parliament, Manos – who was elected on the PASOK ticket – asked Karamanlis, who is also culture minister, to publicize a list of all invitations to tender issued since 2000 for Olympic procurements. He also asked for the names of the bidders and of those who received the contracts, the size of the final bids, and for the total outlay by the Athens 2004 Olympic Organizing Committee. SITES CLOSED Museums, monuments shut tomorrow State museums, archaeological sites and monuments across the country will be closed tomorrow due to the European Parliament elections, the Culture Ministry said yesterday. Turtle smugglers Piraeus Port Authority officials were yesterday detaining the five-strong crew of a Belize-flagged ship, along with eight Greeks, after confiscating 2,500 crates of contraband cigarettes from the vessel which was spotted anchored off Salamina on Thursday. Four Romanians and one Ukrainian were arrested while unloading the cigarettes from the Turtle. The eight Greeks had been due to transport the merchandise in trucks, according to authorities. Traffic disruptions Traffic will be disrupted on Kifissias and Kapodistriou avenues from tomorrow as road-resurfacing works get under way, the Public Works Ministry said yesterday. The works will affect Athens-bound traffic on Kifissias between the Kapodistriou bridge and Alexandras Avenue, and Kifissia-bound traffic between the Hygeia hospital and the OTE building. Kapodistriou Avenue will be affected between Kifissias and Kymis avenues. The works, which are to continue for 15 days, will be conducted nightly from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Dolphin visit Two swimmers at a beach near the Peloponnesian town of Corinth play with a friendly dolphin that appeared in the area yesterday. While dolphin sightings are frequent in Greek seas, the mammals rarely fraternise with swimmers in shallow waters. Smuggler arrested Albanian police have arrested an Albanian man who they believe smuggled a baby into Greece three years ago, The Associated Press reported yesterday. Ymet Kreka, 64, was on Thursday charged with smuggling a baby into Greece for 500,000 leks (around 4,500 euros) in cooperation with another man who is now in prison, AP reported.