NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC SECURITY

Patriots deployed in Athens, Salonica, measures preventative, minister says Dozens of Patriot missile batteries – which are designed to intercept incoming missiles and aircraft – have been deployed in Athens and Thessaloniki to protect Olympic venues, military officials said yesterday. The strict security measures being implemented for the Olympics are preventative and do not go against the spirit of the Games, Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos said after reviewing military bases at Tatoi and Parnitha. US Ambassador Thomas Miller, on Samos, expressed his conviction that the Olympics would be safe. «Greece and the United States are cooperating on security matters and the Olympic Games will go well,» he was quoted as saying. OPENING HOURS Stores will be open until 9 p.m. on weekdays as of Monday Store hours will be extended as of Monday and will apply during the Olympics. Stores will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. PHONE UPGRADING Likely disruptions in Kifissia tonight The Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) yesterday warned subscribers that it would resume work on upgrading Kifissia’s OTE center from midnight today until about 1.30 a.m. so that it is fully operational during the Olympics. On Thursday, tens of the thousands of local subscribers were affected by an 11-hour breakdown in service when technicians tried to upgrade the center. EKAB strike The National First Aid Center (EKAB) employees will continue operating with emergency personnel until their demands for a monthly bonus and pay for overtime during the Olympics are satisfied, unionists said yesterday. Protesters rejected an offer by Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis to pay them a 40-euro bonus from September, demanding a 50-euro bonus from last January. Laiko hospital Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis yesterday opened a new intensive-care unit at Athens’s Laiko Hospital, one of those which will be on standby throughout the Olympics. Kaklamanis appealed to hospital staff to do their best to ensure that «our country makes a good impression as regards the provision of medical treatment during the Olympics.» Transplant initiative A group of six prefectures in northern Greece are cooperating in a joint drive to find a bone marrow donor for an 11-year-old boy from Dikaia in Evros province who urgently needs a transplant, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. The prefects of Evros, Drama, Xanthi, Kavala, Rodhope and Serres have launched a campaign to encourage citizens to help find a suitable donor for Ioannis Bechtsoudis, it said. Migrants detained Chios Port Authority officials yesterday detained four illegal immigrants after spotting them in the sea, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. It said the inflatable dinghy in which the migrants had been traveling had torn. Ano Patissia Ano Patissia station on the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway (ISAP) is to reopen to the public on Monday. Chinese ties Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis yesterday discussed bilateral issues and Olympic security with Chinese Ambassador Tang Zhengi. Fleet footed Two armed robbers raided a tax office in the Athenian district of Kallithea at around noon yesterday morning before fleeing on foot. A few hours later, a sole individual robbed a post office branch in Ilioupolis and also fled on foot. It was not clear how much cash was stolen in either robbery. Howard clarifies Australian Prime Minister John Howard appeared to backtrack yesterday after sparking Greek ire with his comments earlier this week about the safety of the Australian Olympic team in Athens. «I can’t guarantee there won’t be a terrorist incident in Australia. To expect me to in effect guarantee there won’t be a terrorist incident that might affect Australians somewhere else in the world is therefore unreasonable,» Agence France-Presse quoted the Australian PM as telling Melbourne radio station 3AW.