NEWS

In Brief

TENDER LAW

Greece tells EC it will postpone implementation to allow for talks Greece will table a legislative amendment in Parliament by the end of the month to postpone the implementation of a law on public tenders for four months so that government officials can discuss the controversial legislation with the European Commission, the government said in a letter to the Commission yesterday. The letter, signed by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, was a response to last week’s warning from the EC, which said the Greek law is inimical to competition. The law, which curbs media barons’ access to state contracts, had been due to come into effect on June 14. EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION Parliament today expected to reject opposition calls for a referendum Parliament is today due to vote on whether to approve opposition calls for a referendum on the European Constitution after debating the matter on Tuesday. It is unlikely that the referendum request will be accepted since opposition parties hold 135 seats in Parliament, far short of the 180 required votes. Parliament has already ratified the European Constitution. YACHT SMASHED No injuries after ferry collision No harm came to the six Britons who had been asleep in a yacht moored at the port of Syros when a passenger ferry struck the vessel early yesterday, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The Daidalos, which had been docking with 122 passengers from Naxos, crashed into the vessel due to an engine malfunction, the ministry said. The six Britons managed to abandon the yacht before it sank, they added. Bill slammed Draft legislation against the legalization of income from illegal activities goes against the Constitution, the Athens Bar Association charged yesterday. The practical consequences of the bill had not been considered by those who drafted it, the association said in a statement, which added that the bill appears to be an alibi for imposing draconian measures to deal with cases of alleged money laundering. Church summit A gathering of more than 700 Christian leaders and theologians continued yesterday after opening on the outskirts of Athens on Tuesday. Archbishop Christodoulos and other speakers agreed that Christian churches must change their approach in view of a growing sense of instability, partially provoked by the widening gulf between the Western world and Islam. Bucharest summit Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis arrived in Bucharest yesterday to join counterparts and foreign ministers from the region for talks on how to boost economic cooperation in the region. Greece next week assumes the presidency of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), under whose auspices the summit was held. Romania currently holds the presidency. Inflation up Inflation rose last month, the National Statistics Service said on Tuesday. The consumer price index went up 3.4 percent from the same period last year. The rise was chiefly due to higher fuel prices and increases in value-added tax as well as bonus payments for certain services over the Orthodox Easter period, the service said. Olympians honored Greece yesterday made Turkey’s three Olympic gold medalists honorary citizens of Athens, an honor it hopes to eventually bestow on all athletes who won a gold at last year’s Olympic Games. In a ceremony at the Greek Embassy in Ankara, Ambassador Michalis Christides declared weightlifting champions Halil Mutlu, Nurcan Taylan and Taner Sagir honorary citizens of Athens on behalf of the city’s mayor, Dora Bakoyannis. (AP) Greening Athens Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis yesterday oversaw municipal workers planting the last few saplings from a batch of more than 2,000 olive trees and shrubs on Philopappou Hill. City Hall has another 3,000 saplings to plant in the capital, Bakoyannis said, adding that 14,000 had already been planted. Clerides Petros Clerides yesterday officially assumed his duties as Cyprus’s new attorney-general.