NEWS

In Brief

MUSEUM HOURS

Major sites to remain open until 7.30 p.m. this summer, PM says The country’s museums and main archaeological sites will remain open longer this summer as part of a campaign to boost Greece’s tourism sector in the wake of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said yesterday. All key sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. every day of the week, Karamanlis said, adding that the new initiative would come into effect in the first 10 days of June. Many sites currently close at 2 p.m. DEFECTIVE GOODS ‘Toxic’ chips to be withdrawn, ministry warns over vacuum cleaners Cheetos Pizza chips, made by Tasty Foods, are to be withdrawn from store shelves after tests revealed the presence of an illegal and potentially carcinogenic food dye known as «Para red,» the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) said yesterday. Para red has been branded as carcinogenic but the European Union’s consumer protection department says it has a very low toxicity level. Meanwhile, the Development Ministry warned consumers who have purchased «Alaska» vacuum cleaners, distributed by Praktiker Hellas, to return them, stressing that the Chinese-made product had a tendency to come apart, causing an electric shock. FLOOD VICTIM Teacher, 37, dies in storm on Crete A 37-year-old college teacher died yesterday after her car was swept away by floodwaters as she was trying to drive across a stream in the region of Knossos, in the Cretan prefecture of Iraklio, amid torrential rain. Rescue workers discovered the corpse of Fotini Hiladaki about 150 meters from the road. Heavy rain caused widespread flooding and damage to agricultural land across much of Iraklio. War memorial Senior Defense Ministry officials yesterday unveiled a monument at the military barracks in the Athenian district of Goudi in memory of the 170 Greek-American volunteers who fought alongside the Greek army during WWII. Three veteran soldiers attending the memorial service were awarded with honorary distinctions. Psychiatrist exonerated A court yesterday cleared an Athens psychiatrist and four employees at his clinic of supplying illegal drugs to patients attending detoxification programs in 2001. There was insufficient evidence to back up the charges against Petros Lymberis and his four colleagues, the court ruled. The five claimed that the drugs they had administered had been strong, but legal, painkillers. Crooked cop A policeman, suspended from his post in Evia last year after facing charges of rape and sexual harassment, has been arrested in Thessaloniki for firing a shotgun outside his former girlfriend’s house to intimidate her, police said yesterday. The woman, a foreign national, ended her six-year relationship with the officer after allegedly discovering that he had been sexually harassing one of her two children, according to police. ELA trial In the second trial of Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) suspects yesterday, convicted ELA member Irini Athanassaki denied charges linking her to bomb attacks against public utilities carried out by the left-wing terrorist group. Syrian ties Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis yesterday highlighted terrorism as the greatest threat to stability in the Middle East during talks with his Syrian counterpart Farouk Al-Shara. «Our prime goal is the consolidation of peace, security and stability in the region,» Molyviatis said. The two agreed to boost bilateral economic and trade ties. Florakis buried Dozens of mourners yesterday attended the funeral of former Communist Party leader Harilaos Florakis in his native village of Paliozoglopi, in the Agrafa mountains of western central Greece. Around 150 coaches and dozens of cars converged upon the small village from all over the country. Florakis died last Sunday, aged 91. Albanian visit President Karolos Papoulias yesterday received at the Presidential Palace 40 primary school pupils from the Greek-Albanian Arsakeio College in Tirana. College teachers appealed for Greek funding for a secondary school in Tirana which is to open next year.