In Brief


New initiative allows citizens to chat with top-ranking officers A new initiative will allow citizens to meet senior police officials and express their complaints or demands about the force. Citizens can meet with officers next Monday and every second Monday after that between noon and 2 p.m. Greek Police Chief Anastassios Dimoschakis heralded the initiative, following a scandal involving police violence recorded on video, to boost public trust in the police. «The police are obliged to make efforts to serve citizens and upgrade services,» according to a circular distributed to police units across the country. Citizens can phone 210.641.1111/647.6105 to book an appointment. ARCHBISHOP IMPROVING Christodoulos leaves intensive care following intestinal surgery last week Archbishop Christodoulos was moved from the intensive-care unit of Athens’s Aretaio hospital yesterday, according to doctors who said his health was improving as expected. The archbishop received several visits from clerics and politicians, including Piraeus Metropolitan Serapheim and Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou. Christodoulos, who has been diagnosed with liver cancer, underwent an operation to remove a tumor from his intestine. It was yesterday unclear when Christodoulos will be discharged from the hospital. Air disruptions Eight Olympic flights canceled A total of eight Olympic Airlines flights were canceled yesterday due to a shortage of aircraft and flight attendants, the national carrier said. The flights – four international and four domestic – were canceled because OA did not receive delivery of two new aircraft and due to a shortage of in-flight staff, the firm said. Contraband cigarettes Thessaloniki customs officials yesterday seized more than 66,000 packets of contraband cigarettes after breaking open a container from the United Arab Emirates which had been en route to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Officials estimated that some 1.62 million euros in customs charges had been evaded. The cigarettes were to be destroyed. Metro line The first stage of the tender for the expansion of the metro line to Piraeus has been completed with six joint ventures invited to submit a financial bid for the 730-million-euro project, the Environment Ministry said yesterday. The next stage of the tender is expected to take place in the fall and is expected to end in early 2008. Once completed, the new line will link Piraeus with the Athens International Airport. Corn ban Greece will extend its ban on genetically modified corn for another two years, Agriculture Minister Alexandros Kontos said yesterday. The ban affects genetically modified hybrid corn (MON810) and the decision is based on further evidence showing its adverse affect on health. The total number of corn types banned in Greece has been increased from 31 to 51. Cannabis bust Three Albanian nationals were arrested in Grevena, northern Greece, police said yesterday for having 123 kilos of cannabis in their possession. No further information was available. Helmet checks Prefectural officals warned motorcyclists yesterday to check the quality of their helmets after market inspections found a number of the protective head equipment to fail local safety standards. Authorities said helmets must have instructions in Greek and bear the «E» mark, certifying its quality. In a check of 137 different types of helmets across Greece, authorities found that seven did not meet safety standards. Island hospitals The construction of a new general hospital on the Aegean island of Naxos and the extension of the main hospital on the island of Syros are due to have been completed by the end of 2008, Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said yesterday. Avramapoulos visited both the islands yesterday and on Monday to inspect the launch of the projects.

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