NEWS

In Brief

IRENAIOS CORNERED

Jerusalem Synod deposes 4 aides, awaits former patriarch’s defense The Holy Synod of Jerusalem’s Orthodox Patriarchate yesterday deposed four aides to Irenaios, the embattled former patriarch. The 12-member Synod decided to depose archimandrites Fotios, Meletios and Irenaios as well as Deacon Agathangelos for conducting mass with the former patriarch two weeks ago. The Synod is to convene again today when Irenaios is due to defend himself. If he fails to appear before the Synod, he will almost certainly be deposed. CRETAN QUAKE 4.9-level tremor shakes island but causes no injuries or damage A moderate undersea quake, measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale, occurred off Sfakia in southwestern Crete just after 10.30 a.m. yesterday. No injuries or damage were reported as a result of the quake, which was felt across the prefectures of Hania, Rethymnon and Iraklion. Seismologists said the tremor was not a cause for concern. WINE SURPLUS Tons of drink to be taken off market A surplus of 3.8 million tons of wine produced in Greece this year is to be removed from the market for distillation to prevent the price of Greek wine from falling, the European Commission announced yesterday. The alcohol produced in the distillation process will not be destined for the manufacture of other alcoholic products but for industrial use, EC sources said. ND lead Ruling New Democracy has a 4.1 percent lead over opposition PASOK, according to the results of an opinion poll carried out by MRB earlier this month and whose results were released yesterday. A total of 38.9 percent of voters prefer ND to PASOK, which amassed 34.8 percent of votes by those polled. Firms fined Three firms have been fined 5,800 euros each for selling imported products lacking the necessary stamp determining the country of origin as well as quality certificates, the Agricultural Development and Food Ministry said yesterday. The supermarket chain Carrefour Marinopoulos, the import firm Limbantsis and the packaging firm Lalanitis all sold Egyptian potatoes bearing inadequate – and sometimes misleading – labeling, the ministry said. Island services The Merchant Marine and Aegean and Island Policy ministries are considering introducing a scheme to provide residents of remote Aegean islands with free ferry transport, Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis told Parliament yesterday. Residents of the Aegean islands have long complained about the infrequency and expense of ferry connections to Piraeus. Legal changes Lawyers belonging to the Athens and Piraeus bar associations will now be able to set up legal practices together and with less staff, according to a presidential decree made public in the Government Gazette yesterday. From now on, it will be possible to establish practices with a minimum of two lawyers – as opposed to the current five – and Piraeus and Athens lawyers will be able to form joint practices. Also, firms based in Athens will be able to set up new practices in Piraeus and vice versa. Cyprus peacekeepers The United Nations Security Council is today due to renew the mandate of the UN’s peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Cypriot Foreign Minister Giorgos Iacovou said yesterday. Truck ban Trucks weighing over 1.5 tons will be banned from circulating on key sections of the national road network over the coming long weekend to avoid bottlenecks as city-dwellers stream out of and back into the capital for the Pentecost holiday, the government announced yesterday. Bad food State inspectors seized just under 50 tons of meat unfit for consumption following raids on dozens of stores and warehouses in Piraeus last month, prefectural authorities said yesterday. Around half of the haul comprised 25 tons of frozen chicken fillets from Argentina and more than two tons of frozen octopus from Morocco, officials said.