NEWS

In Brief

DOPING PROBE

Kenteris, Thanou call witnesses to prove ‘bike accident’ was real The lawyer representing disgraced sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou yesterday submitted a joint memorandum to prosecutors in which the two athletes are understood to repeat their claims that a mysterious motorcycle accident prevented them from turning up for a drug test on August 12, the eve of the Olympic opening ceremony. Sources close to the investigation said the two athletes are calling upon four eyewitnesses to testify that the accident was genuine. They are also calling upon an employee of KAT Hospital, who purportedly saw them entering the hospital after the alleged accident, to testify. BUDGET PROTEST ADEDY calls October 21 strike over indirect taxes, property sales The civil servants’ umbrella union, ADEDY, yesterday called a 24-hour nationwide strike for October 21 in protest at the impact on workers of the draft budget for 2005, which was made public yesterday by Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis. Unionists object to the indirect taxation and the sale of public property foreseen by the draft budget, which ADEDY Chairman Spyros Papaspyros yesterday slammed as «cheap and paltry.» (Page 5) ATHENS TRAFFIC DISRUPTIONS Varis, Athinas avenues affected Traffic will be disrupted on the section of Varis Avenue between Pigadakia and Kalymnou and on Athinas Avenue in Vouliagmeni as road resurfacing work gets under way today, the Public Works Ministry said. The work, which will be carried out on a 24-hour basis, is to continue for 10 days, the ministry said. Traffic police will be on hand to guide drivers. Culture staff Culture Ministry staff on short-term contracts yesterday said that they would be joining other contract workers in a 24-hour strike next Thursday. It is unclear to what extent museums and archaeological sites will be affected. Protesters oppose the dismissal of thousands of ministry contract workers, and want their contracts renewed. Torchlit surgery Doctors at Naoussa Hospital, in northern Greece, were obliged to continue two operations with the aid of torches after a power failure plunged their operating theatres into darkness, the daily Eleftherotypia reported yesterday. The operations, one gynecological and one orthopaedic, were carried out under torchlight after the batteries powering the hospital’s generator ran low, the daily said. Both operations were completed without complications. Road accidents Five people lost their lives in two road accidents yesterday. Giorgos Kadoglou, 62, his wife Eleni, and Panayiotis Katiotidis, 46, were killed instantly when the younger man’s car veered out of its lane and hit the couple’s vehicle near Thyrea in Evros. Two men died and two others seriously injured after a car collided with two motorcycles near Katsika, Ioannina. Andreas Gogolos, 18, and Giorgos Arvanitis, 21, were killed. Last July saw a 6.6 percent drop in road fatalities, with 169 deaths as opposed to 181 in July 2003, according to data made public yesterday. Tram accident A 63-year-old woman was yesterday hospitalized with minor injuries after being hit by a tram as she crossed an intersection in the Athenian district of Nea Smyrni. Urania Yiannopoulou crossed the tracks at the intersection of Mideias and Mikalis streets without checking to see whether a tram was coming, police said. Diaspora volunteers Deputy Foreign Minister Panayiotis Skandalakis yesterday issued a statement thanking all diaspora Greeks who worked as volunteers during the Olympics and Paralympics. «The contribution of the multitude of ethnic Greek volunteers played a decisive role in ensuring our success in organizing the Games,» the statement said. Book show A festival of Greek books opens on the Dionysiou Areopagitou pedestrianized area under the Acropolis on Monday. Thousands of new titles will be on sale during the festival which runs until October 17. President Costis Stephanopoulos is to officially open the show at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.