NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPICS WORKS

Council of State rapporteur against flyover appeals Appeals by representatives of the Athens regional authority and the municipalities of Filothei, Palaio Psychico, Neo Psychico and Halandri against a joint decision by the Public Works and Culture ministries to construct three flyovers on Kifissias Avenue facilitating access to the Olympic Games sites have been dismissed by the rapporteur of the Council of State, who said yesterday that construction should go ahead. The rapporteur responded to claims that the works will be unsightly and result in the felling of many centuries-old trees by saying that new trees will be planted, and adding the works did not violate constitutional provisions on protecting the environment. Immigrants Rafina police quell new uprising Police in the port of Rafina, east of Athens, yesterday bloodlessly quelled an escape attempt by illegal immigrants awaiting deportation. The group trying to break out was among 293 immigrants, mostly Iraqi Kurds, held in a Rafina sports hall since last Saturday, when they were arrested aboard a wooden fishing boat believed to have come from Turkey. Five men were injured on Tuesday in clashes with riot police after authorities told them they could not stay in Greece. SALES Complicated pricing The winter sales start on Monday. Shops must either carry the discount rate for similar groups of items or four prices – the original price in drachmas and euros, and the discounted price in both currencies. Sales will continue until the end of February. MP’s wife dead The wife of an ethnic Greek Albanian member of Parliament was found dead with a bullet in the heart in her car yesterday on the national road from Kakavia to Argyrokastro. Aristoula Tavou, the wife of Vangelis Tavos, deputy for the southern Albanian town of Dropolis, was found with a pistol in her hand. Vartholomaios in Iran Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, arrived in Tehran yesterday to start a four-day visit aimed at promoting dialogue between different faiths. Albania’s EU prospects During a visit to Athens yesterday, Albania’s European Integration Minister, Pascal Milo, signed an agreement under which Greece will help prepare Albanian officials for negotiations with the EU. Milo said Albanian Prime Minister Ilir Meta will also visit Greece later this month. Bible-bashing Composer Yiannis Markopoulos has called for the abolition of school lessons on the Old Testament in an interview with «Davlos» magazine, saying its content has no relation to Greek history and to the «growing religion» of Christianity, and adding that teaching it to youngsters retards the development of our society. Blood appeal Sufferers of Thalassaemia (Mediterranean anemia) cannot get the treatment they need due to a lack of blood in Athens hospitals, a spokesman for the National Campaign Against Thalassaemia said yesterday in an appeal for blood donors to come forward this weekend to help boost vital blood supplies. The Aghia Sofia hospital is said to be struggling to supply enough blood to treat over 800 patients suffering from the disease. Bardot correspondence President Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday reassured French animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot that all the necessary measures had been taken to protect wild birds and animals in Greece. He was responding to an appeal by the former actress against the lifting of a temporary ban on bird hunting in the country. Stephanopoulos added that the hunting ban applied in regions still affected by severe weather conditions and that poachers were being harshly reprimanded. The five-day ban, imposed to protect wildlife weakened during the recent cold wave, was lifted on Wednesday. Harassment charge A Thessaloniki man was charged yesterday with harassing a six-year-old girl. The girl’s mother brought charges against the man, identified only as N.M., a friend to whom she would occasionally entrust her daughter when she was working, after the girl told her he had fondled her repeatedly between October 2000 and October 2001.