NEWS

In Brief

TENDER BILL

Athens receives Commission rocket The government received on Friday a 30-page «reasoned opinion» on Greece’s controversial new law on state tenders from the European Commission, which is the final warning before Brussels takes court action against a member state. The document formally requested that Greece should change the law, and called for a «satisfactory response» within three weeks. It observed that the provision in Greece’s constitution that provided the basis for the law conflicts with EU regulations, and dismissed the Greek argument that the ban on media barons winning state tenders could help fight corruption. The Commission noted that it is hard to understand how a media enterprise could affect a legitimate process of awarding a state deal. Easter rounds President Karolos Papoulias yesterday visited soldiers stationed at a military base at Kastellorizo and on the nearby islet of Ro. Other high-ranking politicians who visited military units over the Orthodox Easter weekend included Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. Karamanlis also paid visits to units at Tatoi and Avlonas. Also on Sunday, opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou visited a military training unit in Nafplio. Geramanis dies The renowned music journalist Panos Geramanis is to be buried in his native Halkida today following his death of a heart attack on Saturday at the age of 59. Geramanis, considered an authority on old-school traditional Greek music, ran a popular daily program on state radio’s Deftero Programma and wrote for the national press. He also wrote sports commentaries in his signature nostalgic style. The Athens Journalists’ Union yesterday paid tribute to his «unmatched contribution to journalism.» Cretan quake A moderate earthquake, measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale, struck the southeastern part of the Cretan prefecture of Iraklio late on Sunday, but no injuries or damage were reported. The quake, which occurred shortly before midnight, was felt across much of the island. Sudan committee Greece has been chosen to head the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions committee for Sudan, Greece’s permanent representative to the UN said on Saturday. Gas stations The country’s gas stations extended their opening hours to 10.30 p.m. from Sunday, the Development Ministry announced yesterday. The 6 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. schedule is to apply until the end of September.