NEWS

In Brief

DOCTORS CONSULT

German experts confer with Greek colleagues over archbishop’s illness Archbishop Christodoulos will have to remain in the hospital to receive further treatment, the doctors who are looking after him said yesterday. Doctors at the Aretaio Hospital in Athens issued the statement after consulting with two colleagues from Germany who flew to Greece yesterday to discuss the archbishop’s illness. Christodoulos has been in the hospital since June 9 and has been diagnosed with suspected liver cancer. His condition was assessed by the two German doctors who approved of the treatment the archbishop has been receiving so far, according to yesterday’s statement. Two more doctors from abroad are due to visit the hospital tomorrow. ‘NO HARM DONE’ Owners of sunken cruise ship say Santorini is not polluted A study by the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR) has showed that sea pollution levels in the area around the sunken Sea Diamond cruise ship in Santorini are minimal, the ship’s owners said yesterday. Cyprus-based Louis Hellenic Cruises said the HCMR results, based on water samples taken shortly after the shipwreck, showed that «the effects on the area’s marine environment are nearly minimal.» The company added that the positive results are due to the correct measures it took directly after the accident to help contain pollution. The government has imposed a 1.17-million-euro fine on the company for polluting the sea environment, while the Santorini port authority has imposed an additional 560,000-euro fine. MEDIA OWNERSHIP Deputies vote on draft law MPs began voting yesterday on a bill aimed at changing media ownership rules. The draft law was approved in principle by 146 deputies but 108 voted against the regulations. Voting will continue today. The bill proposes that one person be allowed to own stakes in the TV, radio, newspaper and magazine sectors whereas the current law only allows a single individual to be involved in two of these sectors. Under the proposed rules, entrepreneurs will only be allowed to own shares in two TV stations but one person will be allowed to own 100 percent of the shares as opposed to 25 percent under the current law. The bill also draws a distinction between «informative» and «non-informative» media based on whether they carry news programs. Kalamata cannabis A 48-year-old man was arrested in Kalamata, southern Greece, yesterday after police found in his home 231 grams of heroin and 6.7 kilos of cannabis. The drugs, found in the suspect’s apartment, had been wrapped individually bearing the names of people who were expected to buy the narcotics. Separately, in a village close to Kalamata, Ariohori, police confiscated 94 cannabis plants and launched a manhunt for those believed to have cultivated them. Fraudsters caught An Albanian and a Bangladeshi as well as three municipal officials from the western Peloponnese have been charged in connection with an alleged forgery ring believed to have provided thousands of immigrants with fake documents to help them get residence permits. According to police, the alleged ring operated for at least two years despite the fact that municipal officials had allegedly been informed of its activities. Migrants reportedly paid 2,500 euros per head for a range of documents required for the issuance of a residence permit. Cultural ties The Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organization, consisting of Greece and another 11 nations, said yesterday it will step up cultural ties among its members to guarantee regional stability. The group said the nations wanted to promote the value of their cultural riches through increased cooperation with each other, the European Union and with the United Nations. BSEC members include Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine. Greece holds the group’s rotating presidency until October 2008. Food fines The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) said yesterday that it has fined 18 businesses a total of 97,000 euros for violating food regulations. Fines ranged from 2,000 to 30,000 euros and were imposed on dairy producers, butchers, restaurants and olive oil producers.