NEWS

In Brief

ROUND OF ATHENS

Traffic disruption tomorrow as thousands join annual run Traffic in central Athens will be slow-moving from 9.30 a.m. tomorrow when thousands of runners assemble at the Panathenaic Stadium to start an 8.5-kilometer race covering major central roads before terminating at the National Gardens. More than 15,000 runners have signed up for the main run, a 3-kilometer race and 700-meter one for children and the disabled. The streets which will be affected include Vassileos Constantinou, Vassilissis Sofias, Panepistimiou, Aeolou, Stadiou, Athinas, Ermou, Apostolou Pavlou and Vassilissis Amalias. However, there will be free access to all public transport from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. ACHELOOS RULING Project to divert river water to Thessaly is illegal, court rules A project to divert 600 million cubic meters of water a year from the Acheloos, Greece’s second-largest river, to the heavily farmed plain of Thessaly is illegal, according to a ruling by the Council of State’s plenary session officially published yesterday. The ruling had been reported earlier this year. The court has deemed the diversion as illegal three times, objecting to the lack of proper planning for the project. The court’s plenary session yesterday also deemed illegal a ministerial decision approving the construction of a high-voltage power station near Argyroupolis, eastern Athens. ANTIQUITIES Lesvos officials seize 36 amphorae Lesvos coast guard on Thursday confiscated 36 ancient amphorae following inspections on a trawler moored at Loutra, a nearby storehouse and a house, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. Police arrested the 52-year-old captain of the trawler and the 64-year-old storehouse owner, whose wife owns the trawler, the ministry said. The amphorae date to the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods and were probably lost in three different shipwrecks, archaeologists said. Per capita GDP Greece’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita last year amounted to 82 percent of the EU average, according to figures released yesterday by the European Commission’s statistics service. Cyprus talks The United Nations’ special envoy for Cyprus Kieran Prendergast yesterday had talks in Athens with Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and his deputy, Yiannis Valinakis. «I am here to take the pulse and the pulse is still beating,» Prendergast said after an hour-long meeting with Molyviatis. Samina trial The court in Piraeus hearing the trial of eight people charged in connection with the 2000 Express Samina shipwreck, in which 80 people died, is due to reconvene on Wednesday, court sources said. The trial is to continue at the Athens Appeals Court as of Monday, June 13, following protests about the cramped conditions of the Piraeus venue. Drugs arrests Police early yesterday arrested five men and a woman believed to have been supplying ecstasy and cocaine to weekend patrons of clubs in Glyfada and other coastal suburbs. Officers confiscated 2,375 ecstasy tablets, 70 grams of cocaine and half a kilo of cannabis. Anti-smoking drive Smokers seeking help to kick the habit can visit the mobile unit that will be operating, as part of the European Commission’s anti-smoking campaign, on Klafthmonos Sq in central Athens today and tomorrow. Visitors can pick up informative leaflets between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on both days. Sampanis withdraws Greek weightlifter Leonidas Sampanis, who was stripped of his Olympic gold medal last year for an alleged doping offense, has withdrawn his final appeal to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport, it was revealed yesterday. No reason was given for the withdrawal. Chinese fugitives Cypriot police were yesterday seeking 18 Chinese tourists who disappeared from Larnaca airport shortly before they had been due to board a flight home on Thursday. A group of 29 Chinese tourists was reported missing after they failed to board the Aeroflot flight. Police had arrested 11 of the group by late yesterday.