NEWS

In Brief

ACROPOLIS ELEVATOR

Deputy culture minister to attend launch of new lift for the disabled Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis is to attend the launch at noon today of a new elevator offering disabled access to the Acropolis, the ministry said yesterday. The lift, which is situated near the Erechtheion (in the northern part of the Acropolis), is to operate for the first time today. It was introduced as a temporary measure ahead of the Olympics and Paralympics, until Culture Ministry officials agree on a better way of providing wheelchair access to the ancient citadel. PALLINI SHORTCUT Minister opens first section of Stavros-Rafina highway A 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) section of a new road from Stavros, on the eastern outskirts of Athens, to Rafina, linking the Attiki Odos with Rafina, was opened to the public yesterday by Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias. When completed, the 9-kilometer road, which crosses through Pikermi and serves as a shortcut by circumventing Pallini, will facilitate speedier access to the port of Rafina, Souflias said. The minister denied assertions that the road, which is costing 41 million euros to build, had been created to make life easier for Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, who lives in Rafina. ANCIENT AGORA Museum reopens today The Museum of the Ancient Agora, located in the Stoa of Attalos, opens to the public today following the completion of preparations for new exhibitions, the Culture Ministry said yesterday. The exhibits – comprising finds from excavations at the Agora – are displayed thematically and chronologically, the ministry said. Tax deadline Thousands of taxpayers who missed the deadline for submitting their income tax declarations for 2003 have been given a 20-day deadline in which to make amends without suffering any penalty, under a Finance Ministry decision issued yesterday. The last deadline for filing income tax expired at the beginning of June. Normally, failure to submit the declarations would result in fines, or additional taxation. Bakeries Bakeries will be selling bread today but not tomorrow – the official launch of the Olympic Games, declared a national holiday – nor on Sunday, which is the August 15 national holiday. Turks barred Three Turkish nationals, who reportedly had been in possession of a map of Thessaloniki bearing marked Jewish targets when they tried to cross into Greece last Friday, were turned away because they had insufficient funds, a Public Order Ministry spokesman said yesterday. The rejection of the three men, who tried to cross into Greece from Evros, was due to their «insufficient economic means» and «had no relation to security concerns,» Lefteris Economou said. Arson arrests A 21-year-old and a 52-year-old farmer yesterday faced a Corinth prosecutor after the younger man maintained that the elder had paid him to start forest fires around Nemea. Constantinos Pepas, arrested on Tuesday for a fire he had allegedly started that day, told police he lit another four blazes in the same area last year on payment by Anastassios Sotiropoulos, who had allegedly wanted to expand his farmland. Cyprus problems Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos yesterday described recent violations of Cypriot air space by Turkish fighter jets as «a regrettable fact that is not in keeping with the spirit of the Olympic Games and the positive climate in ties between Athens and Ankara.» Volos rides Visitors to the central town of Volos, one of the five Greek cities where Olympic sports events are being staged, will be able to enjoy a ride on a vintage train from today, the Hellenic Railway Organization (OSE) said yesterday. The trains will depart for Anavros from the coastal suburb of Agria daily at 11.15 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Trains will leave Anavros daily at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. Sounion illuminated The Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion was yesterday lit up as part of a series of illuminations of historic sites that the Culture Ministry is carrying out ahead of the Olympics.