NEWS

In Brief

POLYTECHNIC ANNIVERSARY

Central Athens blocked from 2 p.m. for protest march to US Embassy Much of central Athens will be closed from 2 p.m. today as thousands of policemen take up their positions ahead of the annual march to the US Embassy in memory of the 1973 student revolt. The following streets will be among those closed: Panepistimiou, Stadiou, Vas. Sofias, Vas. Georgiou, Vas. Amalias, Ardittou (from Vouliagmenis to Mets), Mesogeion (Katehaki to Pheidippidou), Kifissias (Katehaki to Alexandras) and Michalakopoulou (Pheidippidou to Spyrou Mercouri). A similar march is to take place in Thessaloniki. PRESTIGE TANKER Greek captain to return this week The Greek captain of the sunken Prestige tanker, who was banned in late 2002 from leaving Spain pending trial, is due to return to Greece this week, Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras said yesterday. A Spanish court has ruled that Apostolos Mangouras can return to Greece for three months on the condition that he return to Spain to stand trial, Papaligouras was informed yesterday by his Spanish counterpart Lopez Aguilar. The Prestige sank off the Spanish coast in November 2002, spilling 63,000 tons of fuel. Monopoly buster Greece intends to bring its anti-monopoly measures in line with the EU and increase consumer protection by upgrading the role of its Competition Commission, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said yesterday. Sioufas presented a draft bill to the Inner Cabinet, proposing an enhancement of the legal powers and scope of the commission so it can investigate market monopolies and cartels. The minister proposed granting the watchdog institutional status so it can liaise with the EU Competition Commission and Greek courts. Court hours The Justice Ministry’s general secretary Panayiotis Panouris yesterday refuted rumors that legislation currently being drafted would oblige judges to work on Saturdays and Sundays in order to accelerate the administration of justice. Migrants intercepted Coast guards on Kasos yesterday detained 62 illegal immigrants spotted aboard a fishing boat by a passenger ferry en route to Karpathos. The fishing boat, which had been buffeted in high winds after suffering engine failure, was towed to a harbor on Karpathos. The would-be migrants said they had set sail from neighboring Turkey with the aim of reaching Italy. Road collision Six people sustained minor injuries yesterday morning after a mobile cement mixer crashed into an intercity bus a few kilometers outside Larissa. The bus had been en route to Tyrnavos from Larissa when the cement mixer pulled out of a slip road and hit it at around 9.30 a.m. It was raining heavily at the time. Salonica landfill Residents of three eastern Thessaloniki municipalities, who blocked access to the Tagarades landfill yesterday, are expected to continue their protest today as the Council of Court starts hearing appeals against the construction of a new dump near Langadas. Farmers protest Farmers staged protests in central Greece yesterday, demanding the payment of state subsidies for 2002 and 2003 and the absorption of their produce by the state. In Aigion, a group of farmers tried to block the Athens-Patras national road at the bridge at the Meganiti River but were chased off by riot police. Farmers also staged a protest in Olenia, which is also in Achaia.