In Brief


No news for 24 hours as journalists protest Radio and television stations are not broadcasting newscasts today and there will be no newspapers tomorrow, as journalists of all media participate in a nationwide 24-hour strike starting at 6 a.m. today. Athens journalists begin a rally on the pedestrian walkway of Voukourestiou Street at 1 p.m. The demands include the signing of a collective wage agreement, higher pay, better work conditions and the reinstatement of dismissed colleagues. FRIEZE DAMAGED 380 BC panels depicting Odysseus are cracked at Berlin exhibition A 2,500-year-old stone frieze loaned by an Austrian museum for an exhibition of ancient Greek art in Berlin has been accidentally damaged, the German news magazine Tagespiegel reported yesterday. The organizers said that three panels of the 220-meter-long frieze, which comprises about 100 panels in all, dating to 380 BC, fell while they were being mounted for display. Their fronts were not damaged but they suffered cracks on the back. The panels – insured for up to 1 million euros each – have been returned to Vienna for repair. They illustrate the wanderings of Odysseus after the Trojan War. The frieze is from Goelbasi, in present-day Turkey. QUAKE 4.8 Richter tremor in Thrace An earthquake registering 4.8 on the Richter scale was felt throughout the northern region of Thrace yesterday morning after it struck the northern Aegean seabed, 220 kilometers from Thessaloniki. The quake’s epicenter was just 50 kilometers from the edge of the active Anatolian Fault, which crosses most of Turkey before ending in the Aegean Sea, but the tremor was considered «an isolated phenomenon,» incapable of triggering a larger quake in the fault, seismologists said. No injuries or damage were reported. See no evil? Prime Minister Costas Simitis, on a visit to Japan, expressed skepticism at US President George W. Bush’s branding of Iraq, Iran and North Korea as parts of an «axis of evil.» «The situation requires a better, more sensitive definition in order for us to tackle it effectively,» Simitis said. Athens Bar Association National Bank lawyer Dimitris Paxinos, 53, who ran for the post without official party backing despite his affiliation to opposition New Democracy, clinched a slim victory with 50.38 percent of votes to beat favorite and two-time president Antonis Roupakiotis, in elections at the Athens Bar Association over the last two weekends. Roupakiotis gained 49.62 percent of votes with the official backing of left coalition Synaspismos and a majority of lawyers affiliated with the ruling PASOK party. The results were announced late on Monday. Street-cleaners Athens municipal street-cleaners and rubbish collectors will press on with rolling 48-hour strikes, despite a Monday night court ruling making their action illegal, unionists decided yesterday after meetings with city officials failed to satisfy them. Workers want collective contracts for 2002 and equal pay for permanent and contract workers. Fire death The owner of a carnival outfit warehouse in the northern Athens district of Nea Kifissia was burned to death yesterday after a fire in his workplace was apparently fueled by the inflammable costumes. Firefighters found the charred body of Spyros Karamanolis, 34, after eventually extinguishing the blaze. Refugee awareness A European Union-funded initiative to sensitize the public to the plight of refugees by publishing and broadcasting messages in the media was yesterday endorsed by the National Radio and Television Council, which has agreed to the free broadcasting of regular messages until the end of March. The initiative aims to project video and audio messages on the Internet and send messages by CD-ROM for publication in newspapers. Single parents Euro MP Anna Karamanou yesterday asked the government to improve the situation of single-parent families in Greece. Karamanou, president of the commission’s equal rights council, is pressing for legislation that would bring Greece up to EU levels in terms of support for single-parent families which account for 10 percent of all families in Greece, two-thirds of whom live below the poverty line, according to Eurostat statistics cited by Karamanou.

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