NEWS

In Brief

TENDER LAW

Greece unhappy about deadline but responds to EC objections The government yesterday sent a 20-page response to EU Interior Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy on its controversial law, passed in January, which precludes major shareholders in media companies from having access to lucrative state contracts. The government voiced objections to the fact that it was given only two weeks to respond, as opposed to the usual one month, after the Commission launched infringement proceedings against Greece on March 22. Greece’s main defense is that the law is based on a constitutional amendment passed in 2001. GOVERNMENT GAZETTE Public to have online access The Government Gazette, in which all new presidential decrees and laws passed by Parliament are published, will soon be available online, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said yesterday. He added that by June this year at the latest, the public will be able to log on to www.et.gr and read online every issue dating back to 1976. Turkey trip Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis will conduct a two-day visit to Turkey from next Tuesday after an invitation by his counterpart Abdullah Gul, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. Turkish violations A total of 30 Turkish military jets, including photo-reconnaissance aircraft, yesterday violated Greek air space in the north and central Aegean 14 times and broke international flight regulations 11 times, military sources said. Four Turkish jets also flew over the Kalogiroi islets at an altitude of between 500 and 9,000 feet the same sources said. Church scandal The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece yesterday appointed two bishops to investigate Nikiforos, Bishop of Didymoteicho, who is under scrutiny for alleged sex escapades, and the suspended bishop of Attica, Panteleimon, who was indicted by a court last week on criminal embezzlement charges. Antiques arrests Police in Thessaloniki yesterday arrested two men and a woman in connection with the theft of a range of 19th century antiques that are protected by Greece’s draconian laws on antiquities. After raiding the unnamed suspects’ homes and an antiques shop, the officers found eight paintings depicting the life of Jesus Christ, 12 religious icons, two dueling pistols and four swords. Archive funding The cash-strapped Hellenic Archive of Literature and History will be given 100,000 euros in state funding, Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis promised yesterday. Road closure Petrou Ralli Avenue in Athens, between its junction with Kifissou and Thivon avenues, will be closed from 11 p.m. today until 8 a.m. tomorrow due to construction work on a footbridge at Piraeus Technical College. Diversions will be in place. Arson attacks A Greek Orthodox mission, Megas Vassilios, in the Exarchia area of central Athens was firebombed yesterday morning. Nobody was hurt. Meanwhile, a CCTV camera in Kato Patissia, used by traffic police, was destroyed yesterday by arsonists. Jerusalem Twelve archbishops and bishops from the scandal-mired Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem have written to Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, asking him to convene a Major Synod of Orthodox Churches on their patriarchate’s woes, it was announced yesterday. Patriarch Irenaios has been accused of selling Church land in the city’s Arab sector to Israelis.