Municipalities to take over authority for licensing establishments Municipalities will take on sole responsibility for issuing licenses to cafes and tavernas that want to place tables and chairs on sidewalks, Public Works and Environment Minister Giorgos Souflias said yesterday. He made the comment after meeting with Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis. Souflias said that, currently, the approval of his ministry is needed to allow the businesses to expand onto sidewalks and into squares. Souflias said that municipalities, and not his ministry, should also be responsible for the upkeep of squares. As a result of yesterday’s meeting, the City of Athens will take on the responsibility for Syntagma, Omonia, Kolonaki, Monastiraki, Koumoundourou and Argentinis squares. ON THE BEACHES Parliament told that Economy and Finance Ministry manages seafront The Economy and Finance Ministry is responsible for cleaning, protecting and managing beaches, according to current legislation, Deputy Public Works and Environment Minister Stavros Kaloyiannis told Parliament yesterday. He was responding to a question about the hunger strike being carried out by Hellenikon Mayor Christos Kortzidis who is demanding that illegal businesses be removed from the area’s seafront. Kaloyiannis said that the Economy and Finance Ministry would soon be presenting a draft law to reform the way that beaches are managed. CAR THIEVES Three gang members arrested Police have arrested three men in Aghios Dimitrios, southern Athens, and are looking for another four believed to be part of a gang that stole at least 33 cars and then sold them for spare parts. Officers said yesterday that two of the suspects, aged 38 and 33, were Greek and that the other was a 20-year-old Albanian national. The three men were allegedly members of a gang that stole cars from homes and car showrooms and then passed the vehicles on to a middleman who stripped down the cars to be sold as spare parts. Migrant internship Advertising agency TBWA said yesterday that it is running a summer trainee program this year that is aimed at seeking out applicants from immigrant groups. The company is looking for migrants aged between 18 and 26 to take part in the six-week program. TBWA said the applicants will be assigned to departments within the firm and will be given the chance to get hands-on experience. Anyone interested in applying should send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 210.812.5445. Drug recall The National Pharmaceutical Organization (EOF) yesterday advised people suffering from HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS, who are taking the drug Viracept to stop taking it and consult their doctor. The drug’s manufacturer Roche has initiated a recall of Viracept (nelfinavir) after finding evidence of dangerous contaminants in the tablets. Roche informed the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) of its findings late on Tuesday. After investigating patients’ complaints, Roche discovered that the tablets contained unexpected high levels of ethyl mesylate, a potentially harmful chemical. Illegal immigrants Police in Komotini, northeastern Greece, arrested 42 illegal immigrants who had walked an estimated 140 kilometers inland to get a ride in a truck to Athens, AFP reported, citing a police source. The all-male group, aged 17 to 42, claim to have come from India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. The truck’s 45-year-old driver was arrested. Separately, police arrested another 11 illegal Iraqi immigrants at nearby Kavala after finding them hidden in car that had been abandoned in a car chase. Police said they had instructed the driver to stop but he sped off, prompting a high-speed car chase. The driver managed to escape, police said, leaving behind the illegal visitors. World wonders The Acropolis is among the leaders of a competition to choose the new Seven Wonders of the World, organizers said yesterday. The winners will be chosen through a global online and phone vote that ends in a month. Some 50 million people have voted at www.new7wonders.com so far. The competition aims to produce a 21st century list of the world’s greatest man-made heritage sites. The winning list will be announced in Lisbon on July 7.