NEWS

In Brief

EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION

Parliament votes against calls by opposition for a referendum on treaty Parliament yesterday voted against opposition calls for a referendum on the European Constitution, as expected. A total of 123 deputies voted in favor of a referendum – far short of the 180 necessary votes – while 151 voted against it. Legislators had ratified the treaty last month but opposition parties sought a referendum in order to heighten public awareness about it. POLYTECHNIC CRISIS Prosecutor to probe shooting Athens prosecutor Dimitris Papangelopoulos yesterday ordered an urgent preliminary investigation into the shooting early Wednesday morning of a 28-year-old man by a police guard who had accompanied PASOK MP Christos Verelis to a book launch at the Athens Polytechnic. Giorgos Chiliarchos sustained minor injuries in the shin after policeman Christoforos Patsias fired warning shots to scare off a group of anarchists who attacked him. The seven-hour detention of Verelis and up to 100 other people at the Polytechnic will also be probed. ND lead An opinion poll conducted by VPRC on behalf of Skai radio and made public yesterday put ruling New Democracy 4.5 percent ahead of opposition PASOK with 43.5 percent as compared to 39 percent for the Socialists. Salonica works Four consortia yesterday submitted bids to construct a metro system for Thessaloniki, Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias said. Preliminary talks with the lowest bidder are due to start in July. The Thessaloniki metro is to cover 9.6 kilometers and comprise 13 stations. Also yesterday, Souflias announced the winning consortium of the tender for the construction of an undersea road tunnel linking the western part of Thessaloniki to the east. Thermaiki Odos is to undertake the 6.5-kilometer project. Genitsaris dies The popular rebetika songwriter Michalis Genitsaris is to be buried in his native Piraeus today following his death at the age of 88. Genitsaris was a prolific writer whose songs have been performed by major Greek artists such Grigoris Bithikotsis, Stelios Kazantzidis, Giorgos Dalaras and Haris Alexiou. El Greco A 16th century oil painting titled «The Baptism of Christ» by the Cretan artist El Greco will be on display at the Benaki Museum in Athens until Monday, officials at the museum said yesterday. The painting will then be removed to undergo conservation work, they said. The painting was acquired at auction by Iraklio municipal authorities last December for 1.15 million euros following a significant contribution by shipping magnate Theodoros Angelopoulos. Murder A 24-year-old Georgian man who allegedly killed and decapitated his pregnant 25-year-old girlfriend last November was yesterday indicted for trial by a Thessaloniki misdemeanors court. The unnamed man allegedly struck Olina Sandoulova with a plank following an argument before chopping her head off and disposing of her remains in remote spots. The couple had a 2-year-old daughter. Crime deal Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis and his Pakistani counterpart, Aftab Ahmed Sherpao, on Wednesday signed a statement of intent to boost bilateral cooperation in cracking down on illegal immigration, drug smuggling, terrorism and other forms of organized crime, the ministry said yesterday. Prince visits Britain’s Prince Charles arrived in Kavala yesterday for his annual visit to the monastic community on Mount Athos. Round of Athens Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis yesterday called on Athenians to participate in the annual Round of Athens run on June 5. This year, there will be three races – an 8-kilometer run, a 3-kilometer run, and a 700-meter run for children and those with special needs.