NEWS

In Brief

ENVIRONMENTAL RAP

Greece ‘among top EU offenders’ in adopting green regulations Greece, along with France, Ireland, Italy and Spain, is among the worst offenders in the European Union when it comes to implementing EU environmental laws, especially those relating to water quality and waste disposal, according to a European Commission report issued yesterday. There were 88 instances by the end of 2003 in which environmental rules had not been adopted into member states’ laws on time and 118 cases in which rules were incorrectly transposed, the report said. BOMB SCARE Anarchists cause chaos at offices of sports body in ‘symbolic protest’ Police cordoned off a section of Syngrou Avenue early yesterday afternoon following an anonymous telephone warning that a bomb had been planted at the offices of the Hellenic Amateur Athletics Association (SEGAS). However, police who searched the offices after evacuating staff failed to detect any suspect device. An unknown anarchist group subsequently called the Athens News Agency, saying it had placed «a kilo of minced meat with syringes» at the offices in protest against commercialization and doping in sports. TRIATHLON TRAINING Vouliagmeni disruptions tomorrow Practice sessions for the Olympic triathlon event will cause traffic disruption in the coastal suburb of Vouliagmeni tomorrow and Monday. The cycling route starts outside Vouliagmeni Beach on Poseidonos Ave, continues along Athinas Ave, turns at Dimitras St, onto Ermou Street and culminates at Limanakia. The running route follows Athinas Ave from Dimitras St and ends at Lake Vouliagmenis. Traffic will be banned from the above roads from 7 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. tomorrow and from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday. Cabbies scolded Deputy Transport Minister Anastassios Nerantzis yesterday warned unions representing the country’s taxi drivers to rein in rude and over-charging cabbies, and also asked traffic police in Athens and Piraeus and the Piraeus Port Authority to intensify inspections and punish offenders. Nerantzis reminded taxi unions that the Games surcharge of 3 euros can only be applied by taxis bearing the special Athens 2004 logo for trips to and from Olympic venues. He added that all taxis are obliged to issue passengers with receipts. Road accidents Five young people, including two policemen, were killed in Athens road accidents early yesterday and late Wednesday. Grigoris Tsanakas, 19, and Max Wolf, 20, were killed when the car they were traveling in on Kifissias Ave veered off course. The 19-year-old driver was seriously injured. Poulcheria Kostidou, 21, died when her car crashed into another in Neos Cosmos. Anastassios Logothetis, a 23-year-old policeman, died in a motorcycle crash on Galatsi Ave after hitting Ioannis Alevizopoulos, 81, who was seriously injured. And on Wednesday night, 28-year-old policeman Vassileios Patoulas was killed when his motorcycle crashed on Kifissias Ave. Gas leak A gas leak in the basement of the Asteras Vouliagmenis Hotel, in southern Attica, at noon yesterday was stopped by firemen before any damage was caused. Hotel guests in the wing above the leak were evacuated for about six hours while firemen stopped the supply of propane gas – from an underground tank feeding the kitchen and other areas – and supervised the transfer of the gas into a water-wagon belonging to the gas supplier. The hotel guests, mostly Olympic sponsors, were re-admitted upon completion of the transfer at about 6 p.m. Stone-throwers Police yesterday arrested two 22-year-old German citizens, one an ethnic Greek, for allegedly throwing stones at parked cars on the coastal road opposite the old Athens airport at Hellenikon. The young men, who were spotted by a police patrol car shortly after 2 a.m., admitted to having thrown stones at cars at the same spot before. Migrants intercepted Port Authority officers in Igoumenitsa on Wednesday night detained 19 illegal immigrants and their four suspected smugglers after discovering the 19 migrants in a camper van being driven by one of the four, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The migrants and their suspected smugglers had been due to board a ferry to Brindisi, Italy.