NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC BONUS

Total of 33,000 security staff to get paid, but some less than expected A total of 33,000 security forces personnel working extra hours over the Olympics and Paralympics are to receive a special bonus as compared to the 18,000 originally accounted for, according to a joint decision by the Economy and Defense ministries made public yesterday. But although more personnel will get bonuses, many will get less cash than they had expected. A total of 11,700 employees stand to receive 2,300 euros each, while 21,600 are to get 700 euros. More than 42 million euros has been set aside for the payments. 2004 VENUES PM chairs debate on use of stadiums and complexes when Games are over The exploitation of Olympic venues after the Games was the central focus of a meeting yesterday between Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis, Alternate Culture Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia and Olympic Games General Secretary Spyros Kapralos. Alogoskoufis expressed his conviction that the post-Olympics use of the venues would be as «impeccable» as the Games themselves have been. CABBIE REWARDED Minister praises honest taxi driver An Athens taxi driver, who returned an Olympic medal which a Dutch athlete had left behind in his cab, was yesterday congratulated for his honesty by Deputy Transport Minister Anastassios Nerantzis. Nerantzis presented Ioannis Zavos with a commemorative book on the Olympic Games, which has been compiled by the Greek Post Office and contains a series of collectors’ stamps. Most Greek taxi drivers are law-abiding, hardworking and honest, Nerantzis said. Anthrax outbreak The death of 30 sheep infected with anthrax in a small village in Kilkis does not pose any risk to public health but 450 animals have been quarantined as a precaution, local officials said yesterday. Tests conducted on dead animals about 10 days ago confirmed that they had been infected by anthrax, local official Nikolaos Karavalakis said. The animals that have been infected by anthrax will die in a few days, while the healthy ones will survive, he added. Papadopoulos Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday held talks with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, who is on an official visit to Athens. No comments were made after the meeting. Papadopoulos is due to attend the Olympics closing ceremony on Sunday. Plankton problems Fishermen in the Halkidiki peninsula yesterday appealed to the government to compensate them for damage they say they have sustained due to excessive plankton levels in the water of the northern Aegean. Fishermen say they have not been able to fish for the past month as their nets come up filled with plankton. They want to meet with Agricultural Development and Food Minister Savvas Tsitouridis. About 80 percent of Halkidiki fishermen are Egyptian immigrants. Suburban railway The number of passengers traveling on Athens’s new suburban railway line has tripled since the route started operating on August 5 due to the proximity of its station at Nerantziotissa to the Olympic complex in Maroussi, the company managing the railway line said yesterday. A daily average of 40,000 passengers used the service last weekend, company officials said, adding that there had been no problems despite the heavy traffic. Serbian ties Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis is today due to receive Serbian President Boris Tadic for talks at his office. Japanese visit President Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday received Japanese Prince Hitachi and his wife Princess Hanako at the Presidential Palace in Athens. Castaway rescued A ferry bound for Igoumenitsa from Italy on Wednesday made a brief stop to rescue a fisherman spotted in a small boat and signaling for help, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. A rescue dinghy was sent off to collect the man from the boat which had been taking on water, the ministry said.