Deputy FM condemns grenade blast; Turkey says has boosted protection Deputy Foreign Minister Panayiotis Skandalakis yesterday condemned Thursday’s grenade attack on the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. «We do not believe that such isolated acts of violent bigotry are representative of Turkish society, which has started its course toward joining the European family – a course supported by the Greek government,» Skandalakis said. Later yesterday, Turkish authorities pledged to bring those responsible for the blast to justice and said they had already increased protection of the building in response to a Greek request. CONTRACT WORKERS Hundreds march to prime minister’s residence in bid to save their jobs Hundreds of Culture Ministry employees marched to the Maximos Mansion yesterday after Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis told them that their short-term contracts would not be renewed. The protesters’ demand to meet with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was not granted. Several archaeological sites were closed for the second day running yesterday due to the workers’ action. TRAFFIC DISRUPTION Kifissias, Marathonos Ave affected Works at the junction of Kifissias Avenue and Harilaou Trikoupi Street in Kifissia, northern Athens, will cause traffic disruptions today and tomorrow. The works will be carried out both days between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Also, there will be disruptions on Marathonos Avenue in Nea Makri on Monday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from Tuesday to Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Inflation The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 2.8 percent last month as compared to September 2003, the National Statistics Service said yesterday. August’s inflation rate was 2.7 percent. Matricide A Preveza court yesterday gave two life sentences to a 22-year-old man who killed his mother and grandmother in their Ioannina home in July 2003. Prosecution witnesses told the court that the killings of Olga Papageorgiou, 86, and her daughter Chrysavgi Mitsari, 53, had been premeditated. But Costas Mitsaris said he attacked his mother and grandmother with an army knife after they criticized his late father. Olympic probe Athens 2004 Organizing Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki and her husband, businessman Thodoros Angelopoulos, yesterday issued a joint statement refuting reports linking them to a firm named Octagon Worldwide Holdings, which allegedly mediated to confirm Olympic sponsors. «The assertions… are entirely groundless and slanderous,» the statement said. A prosecutor probe is under way. TEI funding Fund-starved state technical colleges (TEIs) will receive 13 million euros in emergency funding, Deputy Education Minister Spyros Taliadouros told the heads of the country’s TEIs in Hania. Salonica riots The trial of five Greeks and one Spaniard arrested in Thessaloniki in June last year during violent protests against a European Union summit was yesterday set for January 13. A Thessaloniki court will hear the case of Spaniard Carlos Martinez and five Greeks, who face charges of insurrection and illegal weapon possession. Extradition trial The Supreme Court yesterday postponed until next Friday the trial of a Turkish Kurd, arrested in March for smuggling illegal immigrants into the country, who faces extradition to Germany on terrorism charges. Sinan Bozkurt’s lawyers wanted more time to examine new evidence sent to the court by German authorities. Demonstrators had earlier protested Bozkurt’s extradition outside the court. Doping tests Four horses used in Olympic equestrian events have tested positive for banned substances, the International Equestrian Federation said yesterday. The horses involved include those of German riders Ludger Beerbaum, winner of the team show-jumping gold, and Bettina Hoy, German officials said. And the horse Cian O’Connor rode to win Ireland’s only Olympic golds also failed a test, Irish officials said. The riders have 10 days to ask for a second sample to be tested.