NEWS

In Brief

MINISTER ACCUSED

MPs claim Papaligouras overlooking allegations against top prosecutor Three PASOK MPs yesterday accused Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras of not taking any action over allegations that Supreme Court deputy prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas encroached on a large plot of land in Porto Germanos, west of Athens, and illegally built a house there. The Socialist deputies said that the local town planning office had deemed the house illegal on December 22 but that just two days later it was declared legal after an application by Sanidas. The deputy prosecutor is responsible for investigating an alleged trial-fixing ring. AMORGOS PROTEST Changes to ferry services hurting island’s tourism, say tradesmen Tradesmen from the Cycladic island of Amorgos protested to the Tourism, Merchant Marine and Aegean ministries yesterday over uncertainty regarding the island’s ferry services and the negative impact this is having on tourism. The tradesmen said that since the Merchant Marine Ministry has yet to announce what ferries will be servicing the island this summer, they cannot inform visitors of transport schedules. Ferry timetables are changing due to the government’s deregulation of the sector. PASS MARK Teachers pledge no strikes at exams Senior high school students will be able to enjoy an exam period this summer that will be free of teachers’ strikes after the State Senior High School Teachers Federation (OLME) said yesterday that it had not planned any industrial action to coincide with the tests. OLME representatives said they were unhappy with some of the government’s education policies but would not disrupt the exams. Teachers have in the past staged strikes during the final exams period for senior high school students to draw attention to their protests. Princely visit Britain’s Prince Charles arrived in northern Greece yesterday before a planned visit to the 1,000-year-old monastic community of Mount Athos, officials said. The heir to the British throne landed at an airport near Kavala, about 173 kilometers east of Thessaloniki, accompanied only by members of his guard. A private yacht was to take him to the sanctuary, an important site for Orthodox Christianity that is only open to male visitors. Charles has made several trips to the self-governing community, and is due to stay at the Vatopedi Monastery. (AP) Flight turnaround Aegean Airlines said yesterday that computer failure was to blame after one of its aircraft was forced to land at Athens International Airport shortly after taking off for Rome. Flight 650, carrying 86 passengers, departed Athens at 9.50 a.m. but the pilot said he saw a warning light at 4,000 feet and immediately asked for permission to land. The plane touched down without any problems at 10.08 a.m. No passengers were injured and they were escorted onto another flight an hour later. Olympia support Greek and foreign archaeologists yesterday backed the decision not to allow a sports event to be held at Ancient Olympia. A total of 137 archeologist and restorers signed a letter backing the Culture Ministry’s Central Archaeological Council, which decided last month that the birthplace of the Olympic Games does not have the right infrastructure to host an athletics meet with 15,000 spectators. In their letter, the archaeologists said that it is vital to protect ancient sites and holding a meet there would clash with the atmosphere of Ancient Olympia. Votanikos fire A blaze at a transport company’s storage facilities in Votanikos, central Athens, caused serious damage early yesterday, firefighters said. Authorities said the fire was the work of arsonists as they found empty cans of flammable liquid in the storage area. Quake exercise An international emergency exercise for rescue workers will be held in Volos, central Greece, from today through Sunday aimed at preparing authorities for major earthquakes. Rescue workers, including 65 from Turkey, and medical teams will act on an action plan involving the collapse of five buildings.