NEWS

In Brief

WEEKEND TRANSPORT

Athens metro and electric railway trains to run every 10 minutes Athens metro and electric railway (ISAP) trains will run roughly every 10 minutes on December 25 and 26, transport officials said yesterday. All three tram lines will operate according to their Sunday timetable and will run as normal through the night. Express buses, metro trains and the suburban railway to Athens international airport will operate on their usual schedule. There will be no changes to any of the above services tomorrow. NEW YEAR’S PARTY Fireworks and concert planned Athens will see in 2005 with a free open-air concert at Kotzia Square, featuring singers Dionysis Savvopoulos, Nikos Portokaloglou and Giorgos Margaritis, Mayor Dora Bakoyannis said yesterday. The celebration will begin at 11 p.m. with music from the Athens Municipality’s Philharmonic and Symphonic Orchestra and songs from the City Hall Choir. Some 2005 fireworks will be let off and a giant «Vassilopita» (New Year’s cake), measuring 14 sq.m., will be divided up. Bakoyannis added that she was excited to see young children participating in events organized by the municipality, such as the merry-go-round at Syntagma Square (photo). Court protest Human rights campaigners burst into a Patras appeals court yesterday to protest against a majority ruling to acquit Nikos Brikolias, a 43-year-old policeman, of charges that he raped a 25-year-old Ukranian sex slave in the western Peloponnesian town of Amaliada six years ago. But Brikolias received a 20-month suspended sentence for dereliction of duty. One woman was slightly injured during scuffles and Brikolias, along with his lawyers, were escorted from the courthouse under a heavy police guard. This was the third time the officer has been cleared of the charges. Child porn The head of the press office of the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE), Greece’s largest umbrella union, was arrested yesterday morning on suspicion of being involved in procurement and the proliferation of child pornography through the internet, police said. The man’s name has not been released. Tsirkas library A collection of some 3,000 books donated by writer Stratis Tsirkas’s widow to the National Book Center (EKEVI) in 1977, went on display yesterday at the EKEVI headquarters in central Athens. Railway death A woman was killed by an oncoming train yesterday as she tried to cross tracks at a point where it was forbidden to do so, near Elefsina station some 20 kilometres west of Athens. Her name was not made public. Card scam Italian police announced yesterday that they had broken up a gang of fraudsters who ran a sophisticated credit card copying scam in Italy, Greece, Spain and Romania, with the arrest of six gang members. The suspects had secretly placed computer chips inside cash machines at service stations, which then recorded customer credit card numbers in order to produce fake doubles. Two of the suspects were arrested in Greece. (AFP) Stadium objections Synaspismos Left Coalition yesterday voiced its opposition to the construction of a new stadium for the Panathinaikos soccer team in Hellenikon and Goudi saying that it would signal an end to one of the few open spaces left in Athens. The Technical Chamber of Greece issued a statement stating that the only desirable use for the Goudi site, in northeastern Athens, was to turn it into a metropolitan park. Meanwhile, campaigners who also want the area to become a park said they would use any legal avenue available to prevent anything being built on the Goudi site.