NEWS

In Brief

INVESTIGATION ENDS

No charges to be brought against ministers on arms spending An investigation into the controversial purchase of Russian anti-aircraft missiles by the previous socialist government will not result in any charges being brought due to the expiry of the statute of limitations on the alleged offenses. Authorities were investigating the purchase of 21 TOR-M1 missiles between 1998 and 2000 for some $473 million (372 million euros). Former Defense Ministers Akis Tsochadzopoulos and Yiannos Papantoniou had denied any wrongdoing in the matter. EDUCATION REFORMS Prime minister determined to push ahead with changes Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis stressed in talks with his government’s MPs yesterday that he is determined to push ahead with reforms to the education sector. «We will pay the allowance that we had promised teachers,» he added. Primary and pre-school teachers are likely to strike for a third week as of Monday over pay demands. Karamanlis also said that education reforms need to go ahead as they have the backing of the majority of the population. ANTI-WAR RALLY Gathering set for Saturday Labor unions and leftist groups yesterday appealed to citizens to join anti-war rallies planned for Saturday to protest Israel’s ongoing presence in Lebanon and press for a solution to the crisis in the Middle East. Renowned Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis is due to address a rally outside Athens University, which will be followed by a concert featuring Maria Farandouri and other big names. Meanwhile, another demonstration is being organized in central Syntagma Square. A similar rally is also scheduled to take place in Thessaloniki. Bus routes OASA, the Athens Urban Transport Association, said yesterday that three new bus routes will start operating as of Sunday as part of plans to improve the city’s public transport system. The new routes will link the areas of Thracomacedones-Acharnon, Liosia-Vari-Koropi and Glyfada-Koropi. UEFA Cup Panathinaikos advanced to the UEFA Cup group stage last night thanks to a 1-0 away win at Metalurg Zaporizhye in Ukraine, courtesy of a goal by Dimitris Papadopoulos in the 14th minute. Allergic reactions The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) said yesterday that it had ordered the recall of four different types of snack bars which contained ingredients able to cause allergic reactions. The snack bars, made of chocolate or nuts, were found to include soya extracts and other ingredients which could cause an allergic reaction without this being outlined on the wrapper. Church meeting Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is scheduled to meet today with Archbishop Christodoulos, the head of the Church of Greece. The two men are expected to hold talks on issues affecting the Church along with Education and Religion Minister Marietta Giannakou. Dodgy driver Prefectural officials in Piraeus yesterday detained the driver of a school bus whose driver’s license was found to have been forged. The violation was detected in a routine inspection of the bus. Of 234 inspections conducted by Piraeus officials so far this year, 13 violations have been detected. The transgressors had either been driving without wearing a seat belt, using a mobile phone while driving or speeding. Drug haul A 29-year-old Albanian man tried to smuggle 300 grams of cocaine concealed inside a packet of washing powder, port guard officials on Rhodes said yesterday after arresting the man and his 25-year-old Athenian girlfriend. The couple were stopped by officials as they were disembarking from a ferry from Piraeus. A search of the woman produced small quantities of heroin and methadone, officials said. Loan shark A 26-year-old man accused of being involved in a loan shark operation was remanded in custody in Larissa, central Greece, yesterday, police said. The man, who was not identified, was arrested at the start of the year and has been charged with fraud, theft and taking part in a criminal operation. A total of 20 people have been connected to the money-lending operation.