NEWS

In Brief

ACROPOLIS PROTEST

Culture Ministry workers close off ancient citadel, plan mar Culture Ministry contract employees whose work agreements are due to expire at the end of this month, and are not to be renewed, protested yesterday by blocking access to the Acropolis in Athens for several hours. The contract workers, who are on a four-day strike to demand that their contracts should be renewed, allowed disabled people and their escorts through picket lines. They plan to meet at Klafthmonos Square in central Athens at 10 a.m. today, before marching on the Culture Ministry. yesterday, Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis complained that «the Acropolis, the perennial symbol of democracy, should not be used to promote labor and union demands.» WEAPONS PROBE Prosecutor’s findings on army procurements sent to Parliament Justice Ministry officials submitted to Parliament yesterday the legal brief prepared by a prosecutor investigating the army’s purchase of US-made TPQ-37 artillery radar units and Russian TOR-M1 anti-aircraft missiles under the previous PASOK government. The investigation concluded that military procurement regulations were not followed and that the equipment was too expensive while also unsuitable for the job. Prosecutor Panayiotis Athanassiou has suggested former defense ministers Akis Tsochadzopoulos and Yiannos Papantoniou could be legally responsible for any laws that were broken. Neither can be prosecuted unless Parliament votes to lift their immunity. EUROPEAN BUREAUCRATS Non-Greeks allowed into civil service A presidential decree, signed by Deputy Interior Minister Apostolos Andreoulakos yesterday, allows people from EU member states to apply for certain positions in the Greek civil service. The new law gives EU citizens the opportunity to become civil servants in the General Secretariat of Public Administration, the General Secretariat of Gender Equality and the National Center of Public Administration and Self-Administration. Non-Greeks, however, will not be able to apply for positions deemed crucial to national security and civil defense. New Athenians During a ceremony at the Town Hall at noon today, Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis will make Greek athletes who placed eighth or higher during the Summer Olympics honorary citizens of Athens. The honor was also bestowed on Greece’s European Championship-winning soccer team when it returned to Athens from Portugal on July 5. Cyprus cuts A UN review of the organization’s peacekeeping forces in Cyprus recommends cutting their presence on the island by up to 30 percent, according to sources quoted by Agence France-Presse yesterday. The UNFICYP force, which numbers 1,200 soldiers, patrols the buffer zone separating Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. Flag attack A gas canister bomb exploded outside a shop selling Greek flags in the northern Athens suburb of Halandri early yesterday morning, causing minor damage, Agence France-Presse reported. Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack. Muggings Four youths have been arrested on suspicion of mounting at least three armed robberies in Thessaloniki, the latest of which resulted in a teenager being stabbed for his money and mobile phone, police said yesterday. Hit-and-run A white van, believed to be a Mercedes, was involved in a hit-and-run accident in the northwestern Athens suburb of Acharnes on Monday at 10.50 a.m. which left a young woman injured, traffic police said yesterday. The accident happened on Karamanlis Avenue near No. 177 and the vehicle’s front was damaged. Anyone with information that could lead officers to the van or driver is asked to call the Nea Ionia police at 210.281.7034 or 210.281.7725. Runaway bulldozer A 57-year-old man was killed by his own bulldozer near the village of Dematio, northwest of Ioannina, yesterday when he got out of the vehicle on a slope without securing its handbrake properly. Ioannis Papacostas was crushed to death as the bulldozer rolled over him.