NEWS

In Brief

EUROPEAN HERITAGE

Free entrance to museums and sites for three days Entry to museums and archaeological sites around Greece is free this weekend as part of the celebration of European Heritage Day. Entrance will also be free on Monday, which is World Tourism Day. TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS Southern Athens roads closed today for Paralympic cycling Roads in the southern Athens coastal suburbs of Vari and Vouliagmeni will be closed today due to the Paralympic road cycling event. From 8 a.m. to 6.30 p.m., cars traveling in either direction will not be allowed onto the coastal avenues of Athinas and Poseidonos nor onto the Athens-Sounion highway between the Vari-Koropi and Varkiza Square intersections. These restrictions will also apply to Faethontos, Thiseos, Dimitras, Areos, Aphroditis and Aeolou streets in Vouliagmeni. Parking in these areas will be forbidden from midnight until 8 p.m. TAXI DRIVER’S TRIAL Thessaloniki cabbie case postponed The trial, scheduled for yesterday, of a Thessaloniki taxi driver charged with beating a pregnant customer so badly that she miscarried shortly afterward has been postponed. Prosecutors are seeking to establish whether the cabbie should also face criminal charges arising from the miscarriage – which had not been included in the original charge sheet. Ilias Xanthopoulos, 39, allegedly punched 35-year-old civil servant Fotini Kastanopoulou on Monday following an altercation over whether the three-month pregnant passenger should be taken all the way to her destination. A new trial date has not been set. Kenteris witnesses Two men who claim to have witnessed the motorcycle accident that sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou say prevented them from undergoing a pre-Olympic doping test gave evidence to the prosecutors investigating the case yesterday. Both witnesses are suspected by prosecutors of giving false evidence. One is the driver who claims to have ferried the two athletes to KAT hospital, where they were kept for five days. Fuel for thought Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas yesterday proposed to the EU Competitiveness Council the formation of an automatic mechanism to reduce fuel tax when the price of crude oil remains high for prolonged periods. Sioufas suggested that if the price of Brent stayed above 30 US dollars per barrel for at least three months, then EU members could employ a sliding scale of fuel tax cuts between 5 and 20 percent, depending on the price. The suggestion was rejected in May by the EU’s Council of Economic and Finance Ministers (ECOFIN). Schroeder visit German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is on a one-day visit to Athens today, during which he will meet with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, former premier Costas Simitis and watch events at the Paralympics. Weather warning There is a likelihood of heavy rain and storms around the Ionian islands, Epirus, the western mainland, western Peloponnese and Macedonia today, the National Meteorological Service (EMY) said in an emergency weather warning yesterday. Tomorrow, the areas most affected by the bad weather will be the Ionian, Epirus and the northern Aegean. Authorities and people in all these areas have been advised to take extra care. Rimini ceremony Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos will make a visit tomorrow to the graves of the 117 Greek officers and men who died during the WWII Battle of Rimini in 1944. A ceremony commemorating the 60th anniversary of the battle will be held at the Greek Military Cemetery near the town of Riccione, southwest of Rimini. Immigrants caught Fifteen illegal immigrants (seven women, five men and three children) were arrested in waters near Chios yesterday after crossing from the Turkish port of Cesme in a small boat, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Five more men were also picked up on Lesvos after sailing to the island from Turkey. Olga sinking A ceremony will be held on Leros tomorrow for the 61st anniversary of the WWII sinking of the Greek destroyer Vassilissa Olga by German planes.