NEWS

In Brief

DRAFT DODGERS

Greeks living abroad can visit until end of September with impunity Draft dodgers living abroad will be allowed into Greece until the end of September without any inquiries regarding their military service, according to an Interior Ministry circular which was distributed yesterday to all Greek embassies and consulates as well as to local authorities. Draft dodgers whose passports have expired will be granted one-year extensions, while those without a passport will be issued with one. SCHOOL SPORTS Ministerial decision foresees measures to prevent use of banned substances A draft ministerial decision, due to be approved over the next few days, calls for the implementation of stricter measures to prevent the use of banned substances by school athletes, the Education Ministry said yesterday. The initiative, which has been promoted by Deputy Education Minister Giorgos Kalos and is to be signed by Minister Marietta Giannakou, will chiefly focus on preventative inspections. It is to be implemented this academic year. HOTEL STRIKE Staff plan Thursday action Staff at hotels in Athens and Piraeus yesterday decided to renew their strike action on Thursday with a four-hour work stoppage from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Workers, who are demanding higher salaries and better work conditions, are due to stage a rally on Dionysiou Areopagitou St in central Athens during their strike. Unionists threatened to intensify their action if their demands are not met. Theodorakis discharged Composer Mikis Theodorakis, 79, was yesterday discharged from the Athens Evangelismos Hospital following a gall bladder operation. Doctors said that the composer had shown steady improvement following Wednesday’s operation. Army suicide A 19-year-old professional soldier serving at an army base on Lesvos fatally shot himself with his service rifle early yesterday, the army said in a statement. The victim was identified only as R.P. from Agrinion. Paralympics preview Spectators at Olympic track events tomorrow will be able to sample a taste of the Paralympics when 16 wheelchair-bound athletes take part in the 1,500-meter men’s event and the 800-meter women’s event. The races are scheduled for 8.35 p.m., shortly before the men’s 100-meter semifinals. Tickets for the Paralympics, which run from September 17 to 28, are still available at Olympic ticket booths at the Panathenaic Stadium, on Korai Street and in Kastalias Square, next to the Maroussi electric railway (ISAP) station. Economy briefing Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis yesterday briefed Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on the state of the economy and its prospects. No details regarding the content of the briefing were made public. The briefing was to prepare Karamanlis for the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair next month. Cyprus ruling A Greek-Cypriot man, who left southern Cyprus earlier this month before returning via the Tymbou Airport in the island’s Turkish-occupied north, was found guilty of illegal entry by a Nicosia country court but could not be sentenced due to new European legislation allowing free travel across the Green Line, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. The court’s ruling in the case of Neofytos Constantinou, 56, cannot be appealed and – although it cannot be considered as setting a legal precedent – could provide a basis for future rulings, the agency cited legal experts as saying. Bouncers clash The vicious beating of an ethnic Greek from Albania by eight men, believed to be from the former Soviet Union, in a Thessaloniki bar early yesterday appears to be a continuation of the ongoing battle between Albanian and Russian gangs for the control of local nightclubs, police said. The victim had been drinking in the bar – whose owner he was friends with – when the men burst in and beat him with baseball bats before shooting him in the thigh. Police have linked the incident to a clash between Albanian and Russian bouncers in another bar on Thursday.