NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC BILL

Parliament approves article on foreign support during the August Games Parliament yesterday approved part of a bill allowing the government to seek support from other countries or international organizations in the event of a national security risk during the Olympic Games. PASOK, the main opposition party, countered that Greece should not shoulder the full cost for such aid, while the Communist Party and Synaspismos Left Coalition reiterated their opposition to NATO’s participation in Olympic security preparations. A provision permitting a 30 percent hike in municipal taxes for business owners over the course of the Olympics was withdrawn from the bill following PASOK opposition. STOCK PROBE Top prosecutor asks magistrate to make DEKA investigation a priority Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos yesterday instructed an investigating magistrate to prioritize an investigation into the activities of the State Portfolio Management Company (DEKA) between the stock market bull run and subsequent collapse in 1999 and the April 2000 national election. The present government has alleged that DEKA was used to manipulate the stock market ahead of that election, which was won by PASOK. A judge’s report on DEKA’s activities, submitted to Parliament in 2000, had been shelved by PASOK. POLLUTION RAP EC threatens action over waste water The European Commission yesterday threatened to take legal action against Greece and another six European Union countries for failing to meet a December 2002 deadline to install proper treatment facilities for waste water from urban centers. Along with Greece, the EC also threatened Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain for their failure to implement the Water Framework Directive, which is designed to improve the quality of lakes, rivers and coastal waters. Tatoi estate Synaspismos Left Coalition MP Fotis Kouvelis yesterday submitted a question in Parliament asking the government which measures it had implemented, and would be taking, to protect the buildings on the former royal estates at Tatoi, on the northern outskirts of Athens, which are listed monuments. Kouvelis noted that the buildings had recently been looted, with doors and windows removed. Heat risk Deputy Labor Minister Gerasimos Giakoumatos yesterday appealed to employers to ensure they take the necessary steps to ensure that workers are protected from the high temperatures forecast for the next few days. Particular attention should be paid to employees with health problems and those who work outdoors, Giakoumatos said. Transport strike The Transport Ministry yesterday issued a statement criticizing a six-hour strike which brought all public transport services to a standstill yesterday, charging that striking workers were wrong to demand an Olympic bonus. Only security forces staff would be receiving such a bonus, the ministry said, adding that public transport workers would be paid a higher rate for overtime during the Games. Lethal eviction A 46-year-old man was fatally injured early yesterday morning after apparently hurling himself through the glass entrance of the apartment block in Galatsi from which he had been evicted. The man, identified only as L.V., suffered lethal cuts to his throat after falling through the glass door, according to police, who added that the man had received psychiatric treatment on several occasions. Media strike There are unlikely to be any national newspapers available next Wednesday and Thursday as journalists join a 48-hour strike starting at 8 a.m. next Tuesday which has been called for by the Athens Journalists’ Union (ESIEA). Unionists are demanding the immediate signing of a new collective labor contract. Athens works Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias yesterday signed three contracts, committing a total of 5.7 million euros to upgrading the area around the Athens National Archaeological Museum, Lycabettus Hill, Academias St and a section of Vouliagmenis Ave. The contracts foresee repaving work and the planting of trees.