NEWS

In Brief

TSUNAMI ‘HERO’

Greek diving instructor lauded in Holland for saving 35 Dutch tourists A Greek diving instructor who reportedly saved 35 Dutch tourists from drowning after the tsunami struck Thailand was yesterday hailed as a hero in the Dutch press. Nikos Ioannidis, who ran a diving school 45 kilometers from the Thai resort of Phuket, spent four days helping victims of the devastating tsunami, according to a report in the daily NCR Handelsblad which interviewed him. PUBLIC TRANSPORT Commuters should restamp 1-euro ticket if 90 minutes are running out Commuters using the new 1-euro ticket offering access to most of the capital’s public transport networks for up to 90 minutes, should validate their ticket a second time on their final journey if they see that their time is about to elapse, the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) said yesterday. Commuters should restamp their tickets on the reverse side or opposite end, OASA said. ELA Judges appointed for Feb. 7 trial The appeals court judges and prosecutors who are to oversee a second trial of Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) terror group convicts and suspects were appointed yesterday by lot. The trial is to begin on February 7. Costas Agapiou, Irini Athanassaki, Angeletos Kanas and Christos Tsigaridas – convicted last year of a string of attacks – are to appear in court with Michalis Kassimis and Yiannis Serifis, who were acquitted last year. The six are charged in connection with 10 blasts at public utilities between 1986 and 1987. Cutting bureaucracy Citizens will henceforth need only their identification card or passport to make personal declarations and are therefore no longer obliged to visit their local police station for a stamp of approval, the Interior Ministry’s Central Committee for the Simplification of Procedures decided yesterday. Fine evasion Less than a quarter of fines issued last year by the City of Athens – for offenses ranging from parking violations to illegal occupancy of public spaces – were actually collected, Deputy Mayor Theodoros Skylakakis told Kathimerini yesterday. Last year, municipal authorities expected to collect 106 million euros in fines but only amassed 25 million euros, he said. Heating fuel Citizens’ Information and Service Centers (KEPs) will be distributing pamphlets offering advice to consumers on how to minimize heating fuel costs, Deputy Interior Minister Apostolos Andreoulakos said yesterday. The pamphlet also advises citizens on how to avoid being duped by fuel distributors. Building restrictions Citizens with property in the Attica municipalities of Kalyvia, Thorikos and Koropi cannot build on more than 30 percent of the land they own and buildings must not exceed two stories, according to town-planning reforms approved by the Public Works Ministry yesterday. Traffic disruption Traffic will be disrupted on the section of Kifissou Avenue between Kaliftaki Street and Poseidonos and Syngrou avenues as of Monday when works get under way to remove lines marking out Olympic lanes. The works, which are set to continue for 15 days, are to be conducted between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily. Immigrant service The immigrant service of the City of Athens social welfare department will be open to the public from Monday. Olympic briefing Deputy Public Order Minister Christos Markoyiannakis is on Monday due to present an appraisal of Greece’s security planning for the Athens 2004 Olympics to representatives from the embassies of countries which will hold subsequent Olympiads and other major sporting events. Fatal blaze Firemen yesterday recovered the charred body of a 54-year-old man from the ashes of a hut in Halandri that had been his home. It was unclear what caused the blaze that killed Andreas Epsimos.