NEWS

In Brief

TRAFFIC DISRUPTIONS

Paralympic lanes come into effect on three key Attica roads today Traffic police will tomorrow start enforcing a ban on access to «Paralympic lanes» on three major roads in Attica. The ban will apply to lanes marked in orange on Vari-Koropi Avenue, on the section of coastal Poseidonos Avenue between the Vari-Koropi junction and the Olympic Complex at Hellenikon and on Kifissou Avenue, from the Kalyftaki junction to the junction with Attiki Odos. The ban, which will be enforced daily between 6 a.m. and midnight, is to apply until September 29. Only vehicles with Paralympic accreditation will be allowed in the lanes. HEALTHY WORKERS Greeks have lowest rate of absenteeism due to sickness in the EU, study shows Greek workers have the lowest rate of absenteeism due to illness in the European Union, according to a study cited by Agence France-Presse yesterday. The rates of the study, published in the British Occupational and Environmental Medicine journal, are defined as the proportion of employees who had taken at least one day off in the previous year due to sickness. Greece had a rate of 6.7 percent, followed by Ireland (8.3 percent), Portugal (8.4 percent) and Italy (8.5 percent). Finland has the highest rate (24 percent), while the EU average is 14.5 percent. DOPING PROBE WADA inspector testifies World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) inspector Yiannis Psarellis yesterday testified for more than seven hours before prosecutors investigating a scandal involving the failure by sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou to appear for a doping test before the Olympics. Psarellis, a former triathlon champion, has complained about the difficulties of trying to locate athletes for doping inspections and has claimed that sports officials allegedly asked him to exclude Greek athletes from tests. No details about Psarellis’s deposition were revealed. Graduate dies Teachers and students of a school in Preveza on Tuesday attended the funeral of a 76-year-old man who died on Monday, the day he had been due to start senior high school, the daily Ethnos reported yesterday. Spyros Hadzaras died on the first day of the academic year, having completed his life’s dream of finishing junior high school, the daily said. Hadzaras had always wanted to study ichthyology, according to the report. Hunting mayhem A 67-year-old man was fatally injured yesterday after a friend of his accidentally shot him during a hunting expedition in Farsala, in the prefecture of Larissa. Dimitris Tsioumanis was struck by stray bullets fired at a fox by his friend who suffered a heart attack after realizing what he had done. The fox too was killed. Matsakis Cypriot Attorney-General Solon Nikitas will ask the European Parliament to lift the political immunity of Cypriot MEP Marios Matsakis for alleged involvement in trading in illegal antiquities, Nikitas said yesterday. He had already announced his intention to ask for Matsakis’s immunity to be lifted after the newly elected MEP allegedly blackmailed a police officer. Based on new police evidence, the second alleged offense will be included in the request, Nikitas said. Summer cinemas Synaspismos Left Coalition Deputy Alexandros Alavanos yesterday asked the government whether it would seek funding to support the country’s open-air cinemas, many of which may be obliged to close after seeing a 50 percent drop in their takings this summer. Alavanos proposed that the government seek funds from state bodies, such as the state lottery organization (OPAP), or the European Union in order to preserve «a unique and valuable aspect of Greek cultural heritage.» Hagia Sofia New Democracy Euro MP Costas Hadjidakis yesterday submitted a request to the European Commission for the allocation of funds to maintain the 6th century Hagia Sofia Church in Istanbul. The church’s interior is suffering due to damp and its central dome is at risk of collapse, Hadjidakis said. Albanian ties Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis will today meet with his visiting Albanian counterpart, Kastriot Islami, the ministry said.