NEWS

In Brief

CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS

Final preparations being made ahead of festive events in Athens Workers use a crane to put the finishing touches on the giant Christmas tree in Syntagma Square, central Athens, on Saturday. Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis is due to switch on the tree’s lights on Thursday, as part of a 1.3-million-euro program which will include a «Gift City» in Kotzia Square, an ice-skating rink at Zappeion Hall and carousels in Omonia Square. SCHOOL COMPUTERS Minister promises software upgrade Education Minister Marietta Giannakou said yesterday that there were plans to upgrade the computer systems at 5,000 schools in Greece so that children could develop information technology skills. Giannakou made the comments as she and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis handed out a computer to each of 129 students who had earned top grades at junior high schools in Attica. Oil fire A mineral oil factory west of Athens was totally destroyed by a blaze early yesterday after the entire building, as well as the 500-square-meter site surrounding it, caught fire hours earlier, police said. The fire at the factory in Magoula started at around 11 p.m. on Saturday. Firefighters put out the blaze at 2 a.m. yesterday. Police said it was not immediately clear what had caused the fire. Parking offense Ten men working as parking attendants for nightclubs on Pireos Street, Syngrou Avenue and in the southern suburbs of Athens were arrested by police on Saturday night because they were illegally using public property for parking customers’ cars, officers said. Traffic cameras A 20-year-old man was arrested in Kolonos, central Athens, on Saturday for setting fire to a traffic surveillance camera, police said. He also set fire to cameras in Galatsi, Peristeri and Nea Philadelphia.