NEWS

In Brief

ERT HEADS ROLL

Top state TV officials lose posts over interruption of soccer game on ET-1 The general director and operations manager of state broadcaster ERT resigned yesterday following Wednesday night’s 25-minute interruption, due to a short-circuit, of ET-1 channel’s coverage of an Olympic soccer match between Greece and South Korea. ERT’s General Director Johnny Kalimeris is to leave the organization, while Operations Manager Giorgos Papamokos, a civil servant, is to lose his post but remain employed at ERT. An offer by ERT President Angelos Stagos to resign his post was rejected, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said. CONTRACT WORKERS Presidential decree for permanency in the private sector is constitutional A presidential decree aimed at granting permanency to private sector workers on short-term contracts is legal and constitutional, the Council of State ruled yesterday. Last month, the same court issued the same ruling for contract workers in the public sector. The decree will be returned to the Labor Ministry which will send it to President Costis Stephanopoulos for signature, court sources said. EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER Stavros Dimas gets environment post The allocation of the environment portfolio to European Commissioner Stavros Dimas yesterday «is a significant development for Europe and for Greece,» government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said. Dimas expressed his satisfaction with the post after EC President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso announced the full list of commissioners. The commissioner pledged to strive «to preserve and improve the natural environment… while promoting viable economic development.» Olympic profiteering A US citizen who had been allegedly selling tickets for the Olympics at triple their face value was arrested yesterday on Stadiou Street, central Athens, for profiteering according to police, who said they confiscated 78 tickets whose value ranged from 15 to 70 euros. Road collapses Mitropoleos Street, which connects Monastiraki with Syntagma Sq in central Athens, was shut for hours yesterday afternoon after a section of the tarmac subsided. It was not clear what provoked the subsidence. Mexicans, again Yet another bunch of Mexican TV journalists was detained yesterday after feigning sickness outside the Athens Olympic Village and demanding medical assistance, in an apparent attempt to slip through the security cordon at the complex, police said. All four were released soon afterward. There has been a string of similar incidents involving Mexican media workers over the past few days. One of yesterday’s detainees had also been briefly held last week for filming outside the Tatoi airbase. Turkish visitors The Turkish naval forces’ commander, Admiral Ozden Ornek, who arrived in Athens yesterday, is to attend tonight’s opening ceremony for the Olympic Games with his Greek counterpart Antonios Antoniadis. Ornek yesterday met with Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos and Armed Forces Chief Giorgos Antonakopoulos. There were no reports of Turkish jets violating Greek national air space yesterday. Meanwhile, Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis yesterday met her counterpart from Istanbul, Kadir Topbas, who is visiting Athens for the Olympics. Drunk grounded The Olympic dreams of Latvia’s top track and field coach, Gints Bititis, ended before he reached Athens when he was thrown off a plane for being drunk and stripped of his accreditation to the Games. Bititis was barred from boarding a connecting flight to Athens by airport security in Prague on Tuesday, then disappeared only to resurface a day later without any explanation for his whereabouts, officials said. (Reuters) First records South Korean archers yesterday set the first three world records of the Olympics. Actress dies Stage actress Vasso Manolidou has died at the age of 87. Manolidou, who played in most of the major roles of Greek classical theater, made her last appearance on stage in 1981. She is to be buried tomorrow at the Athens First Cemetery.