AIRPORT JAM FEARS
Ticket-holders asked to arrive alone and not too early from August 29 to 31 Athens International Airport is implementing a series of measures from August 29 to 31 to ensure flights run smoothly on what is expected to be its busiest three days ever as Olympic athletes and visitors leave Athens. Only airline ticket-holders will be admitted to the departure area from Sunday to Tuesday. Entry to the area will not be permitted more than three hours before the scheduled flight time, and travelers are not to arrive with non-traveling companions. Monday is expected to be the busiest day, with an anticipated 78,000 travelers passing through the airport. TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS Alternating ban on cars circulating in central Athens is extended until July The alternating ban on cars circulating in central Athens, which usually stops during August is to remain in place until July 22, 2005, according to a joint decision by the Transport, Environment and Public Order ministries made public yesterday. The restricted zone – which is out of bounds on alternate days for cars with Greek registration plates ending in odd and even numbers – is marked out by Alexandras, Zacharoff, Mesogeion, Pheidippidou, Michalakopoulou, Sp. Mercouri, Vryaxidos, Hymettou, Il. Iliou, Frantzi, Syngrou, Hamosternas, Pireos, Iera Odos, Constantinopoleos, Achilleos, Karaiskaki Sq, Karolou, Marni and Patission streets. TRIATHLON RACE Traffic disruptions in Vouliagmeni The women’s cycling race for the Olympic triathlon will cause traffic disruptions in the coastal Athens suburb of Vouliagmeni today. The race route affects Sounion-bound traffic on coastal Poseidonos Avenue from the Vari-Koropi junction to the Varkiza delta, Athens-bound traffic on Poseidonos from the Varkiza delta to the Kavouriou Street junction and surrounding roads. Traffic will be banned along the route from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and parking will be forbidden from midnight to 3 p.m. Similar restrictions will apply tomorrow when the men’s finals are to take place. Higher education About six in 10 university and technical college candidates have gained a place at a higher education institution, the Education Ministry revealed yesterday, stating that 81,346 of the 127,584 pupils who sat examinations earlier this summer had passed. Most entrants have chosen a course of study most likely to land them a job immediately after graduation, Education Minister Marietta Giannakou said. Powell protest Members of left-wing and human rights groups said yesterday that they were planning a protest march to the US Embassy on Friday, when US Secretary of State Colin Powell is due to arrive in Athens. The visit by Powell, who is due to attend Saturday’s Olympics closing ceremony, «constitutes a major provocation against the Greek people,» the Stop the War group said in a statement. Deaf tours The Culture Ministry will be organizing daily tours of the National Archaeological Museum and the Acropolis for deaf people from September 17 to 28 when the Paralympics are under way, the ministry said yesterday. The tours will be conducted from 8.30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily by museum archaeologist Dimitra Kokkevi-Fotiou, who is deaf herself, the ministry said. Forest fire A rescue effort involving five fire engines, firefighting aircraft and helicopters yesterday managed to bring under control a blaze that had broken out shortly after 1 p.m. in forest land near Kallifyto, in the northern prefecture of Drama. It is unclear how much damage was wreaked by the blaze. Today, there is a very high risk of fire in eastern Attica, southern Evia, Samos, Icaria, Karpathos and Lasithi on Crete, according to the General Secretariat for Civil Defense. Migrants detained Coast guards off the southeastern coast of Crete yesterday detained a group of 42 illegal immigrants spotted on a Turkish-flagged sailing boat, as well as the vessel’s four-strong Turkish crew. The migrants told authorities they were Turkish Kurds. Also yesterday, border guards arrested three Turks who had entered Greece from Bulgaria with forged passports. And police in Didymoteicho detained a Bulgarian who was found to be hiding five would-be migrants in his car after he ran a roadblock.