PM lauds choice of Portugal’s Barroso for top EU position Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday hailed the appointment of Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Barroso as the European Commission’s new president. Barroso, who replaces Romano Prodi, «is familiar with the problems of the European South, especially matters of cohesion and issues of agricultural policy which are basic priorities for Greece,» Karamanlis said in Brussels. «I am convinced that (Barroso)… will be a worthy leader of the European Union… He has the experience and faith in European values and principles,» he said. ROADS OPENING Poseidonos-Alimou junction opens, main thoroughfares to follow soon The new junction at the intersection of coastal Poseidonos and Alimou avenues comes into operation today, the Public Works Ministry said yesterday. The new Kifissos Avenue – an extension to the coast of the Athens-Lamia national road – is due to come into operation between July 15 and 20, the ministry said. Works on the marathon route and Vari-Koropi Avenue are also due to be completed during this time frame. SLAUGHTERHOUSES Severe shortcomings detected State inspectors revealed yesterday that they had detected severe shortcomings in the licensing procedures and inspections of slaughterhouses and other services handling animal waste. The shortfalls, detected on a prefectural and a central government level, posed a serious threat to public health, their report said. Flame in Munich Guenther Zahn, a former middle-distance runner for West Germany who was the last torch-bearer in the 1972 Munich Games, lights the Olympic Torch following its arrival yesterday in the Munich Olympic Stadium. Today, the Flame will be in Berlin, before proceeding to Stockholm. Club racket Ten Greeks and 11 foreigners faced an Athens prosecutor yesterday for allegedly forcing foreign women to work as strippers and escorts at a nightclub in Kallithea, police said. The 10 Greeks and one of the foreigners had been behind the «recruitment» of the 18 foreign women, according to police, who said 70 percent of the women’s earnings was taken by the club’s management. Quake damage State officials surveying damage in the village of Loutra, 15 kilometers from Alexandroupolis in northeastern Greece, following Sunday’s 4.8-magnitude earthquake, yesterday slated 17 buildings for demolition. Another 75 were listed as badly damaged but repairable. Kato Patissia The Piraeus-bound platform of Kato Patissia station on the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway (ISAP) is to reopen tomorrow, ISAP said yesterday. Renovation works will continue at the station. Air traffic Air traffic controllers yesterday called off a four-hour work stoppage which was to begin at noon, but this came too late to prevent disruptions to some flights which airlines had already rescheduled or canceled. Air traffic controllers say interference from radio station antennae in western Greece endangers flight safety. They have given officials until July 9 to remedy the situation. Conscript injured A 21-year-old conscript was in serious condition in a Lesvos hospital yesterday after undergoing surgery for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his stomach. The soldier, identified as E.O. from Crete, shot himself earlier yesterday.