NEWS

In Brief

EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION

MPs to ratify treaty today despite opposition calls for referendum Members of Parliament’s plenary session are today due to ratify the European Constitution with a show of hands, while opponents of the treaty are expected to press calls for a referendum on the matter. The demand by PASOK, KKE and Synaspismos Left Coalition is expected to be discussed, and rejected, at a parliamentary session next week. Opposition MPs yesterday stressed that a referendum would allow citizens to learn about the Constitution before its adoption. SPEED CAMERAS Network of 400 due by Feb. 2006 A total of 390 cameras are to be set up at dangerous points on national roads by the end of February 2006 to crack down on speeding drivers, Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias said yesterday. A total of 12.1 million euros is to be spent on setting up the cameras from August. Vavilis trial Fugitive drug smuggler Apostolos Vavilis, believed to have been deeply involved in Church of Greece wheeling and dealing, went on trial in absentia in Athens yesterday on charges of having used a forged police identity card in 2002. While rejecting a bid by Vavilis’s defense lawyer to postpone the trial due to his client’s alleged poor health, the court postponed the case, on a technicality, until October. Iakovos funeral Archbishop Christodoulos attended the funeral of former Archbishop Iakovos in New York yesterday. Iakovos, who led the Greek Orthodox Church in the Americas for 37 years, died on Sunday at the age of 93. Dead fisherman The corpse of a Greek fisherman from Kalymnos who was reported missing a month ago has been found off the coast of the island, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The corpse of another Kalymnos resident the man had been fishing with was recovered last month. Christos Costoglou, 40, and Panayiotis Trikilis, 37, vanished on March 15. Hanged inmate Inmates of Neapoli prison in the Cretan prefecture of Lasithi yesterday protested following the discovery of a 39-year-old fellow inmate found hanged in his cell. The protesters charged that Costas Logothetis had not been provided with a doctor despite allegedly suffering withdrawal symptoms from his drug addiction. Inmates told a prosecutor they wanted to have access to a doctor whenever necessary. Patras shooting Police in Patras were yesterday seeking the gunman who shot a 40-year-old man in the head seven times at point-blank range in the central city, killing him instantly. Andreas Paizis, a boxer, was attacked just before 2 p.m. while getting out of his car. Rebel monks A delegation of monks from Mount Athos was received yesterday by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios in Istanbul to discuss an order for the eviction of 93 ultra-Orthodox monks in the monastic community’s 1,000-year-old Esphigmenou Monastery. The eviction order was issued in December 2002 following the monks’ refusal to recognize the patriarch’s authority, as they oppose his efforts to improve relations with the Catholic Church. In March, the Council of State rejected an appeal against the order by a Mount Athos abbot. Tax evasion Surprise inspections on bars, cafes and restaurants in Attica, central Macedonia and western Greece last weekend discerned various forms of tax evasion in 78 percent of cases, the Economy Ministry Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) said yesterday.