NEWS

In Brief

EARTHQUAKE

5.1-magnitude tremor shakes northeastern Aegean, no injuries An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, which struck northwestern Turkey just after 3 p.m. yesterday, also shook the nearby island of Samothrace. There were no reports of damage or injuries in Greece or Turkey. The epicenter of the quake was off the Turkish port of Canakkale, according to seismologists in Istanbul. The quake was also felt in Alexandroupolis. EXCAVATION PERMITS Culture Ministry to cut red tape for foreign schools in Greece The proceedure for granting excavation or survey permits to foreign archaeological schools and institutes operating in Greece will be accelerated, Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis said yesterday after meeting with school heads. «The basic shift in our policy is that we want to use (the schools’) presence here as a way of promoting our culture in their countries,» Tatoulis said. At the same time, the ministry will expect foreign schools to fully meet their obligations concerning conservation and publication of archaeological finds. BRIGHT SITE Sounion to be lit for Games The Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion will be floodlit at night ahead of the Olympics, Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis said yesterday following a telephone conversation with the head of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) who confirmed that PPC will be funding the 100-million-euro project. The illumination of the temple will coincide with the launch of the Games in August but will continue after the Olympics, Tatoulis said. Church blast A small gas-canister bomb caused some damage but no injuries when it detonated outside the church of Profitis Ilias in the Thessaloniki district of Pylaia early yesterday morning. No one had claimed responsibility for the attack by late last night, although anarchist groups are suspected to have been behind a string of similar blasts earlier this year. Child-trafficking Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis and visiting Albanian Economy Minister Angjeli Anastas yesterday agreed to push forward a bilateral agreement for the protection and repatriation of child-trafficking victims. Fake euros Three men – including an escaped convict from Alikarnassos Prison on Crete – have been arrested for allegedly distributing forged 200-euro notes and large quantities of cannabis in the Athenian district of Pangrati, police said yesterday. Officers confiscated 48 counterfeit 200-euro notes, three kilos of cannabis, a 9mm shotgun and forged documents following raids on two apartments in Pangrati. Bomb hoax The coast guard yesterday evacuated around 380 passengers from a ferry due to leave Piraeus after receiving an anonymous telephone call warning that there was a bomb aboard the vessel. However, the passengers were allowed back aboard the Marina about an hour later after a search revealed no explosives. Passengers running late for their ferries have been known to call in with bomb alerts in order to delay the ship’s departure. Traffic disruptions Corinth-bound traffic on the Athens-Corinth national road will be disrupted near Kakia Skala, and Athens-bound traffic will be diverted via the old Athens-Corinth national road, from 8 p.m. today to 8 a.m. tomorrow due to roadwork. Traffic in both directions will be diverted to the old national road from 8 p.m. tomorrow to 8 a.m. Friday. No first aid Employees of the National First Aid Center (EKAB) are to stage a 24-hour strike today, demanding the recruitment of more staff and the payment of their Olympic bonus. They are to hold a protest rally at the Health Ministry.