NEWS

In Brief

PARLIAMENT HIT MAN

Alavanos accuses PM of acting like a mafia godfather in politics Synaspismos Left Coalition leader Alekos Alavanos caused a stir in Parliament yesterday when he accused Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis of being the «godfather of political life» and using «mafia» tactics. His comments drew objections from Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and the speaker of the house. Alavanos made his comments in reference to Karamanlis’s appearance in Parliament on Monday when he revealed details about alleged abuse of power by PASOK officials. «The impression that Greeks get is that there is a mafia conflict going on and that they are watching Al Pacino and Robert De Niro,» said Alavanos. ARCHBISHOP BETTER Doctors say Christodoulos is eating and moving about in the hospital Archbishop Christodoulos’s condition is improving, the doctors who are treating the head of the Church of Greece said yesterday. In a statement, the doctors said that Christodoulos no longer had a high temperature was now eating normally. They added that the archbishop, who is suffering from suspected liver cancer, is able to move around normally. Sources close Christodoulos said the archbishop is in good spirits but has been somewhat drained by his health problems. POLICEMAN REMANDED Officer held over alleged brutality A police officer accused of beating and humiliating two Albanian detainees at the Omonia precinct in central Athens has been remanded in custody, authorities said yesterday. The officer told a prosecutor that he had no intention of torturing the detainees and that he regrets his actions. Footage of the alleged acts of torture were caught on video footage made public last month. In his statement to the prosecutor yesterday, the suspect said that parts of the video have been fabricated and has asked police to check its authenticity. University delay The process of senior high school students applying for university places is set to be delayed slightly, Education Ministry sources said yesterday, while an internal investigation into claims about outside pressure on exam markers is carried out. Two English language teachers claim that they were asked to change the marks on some tests while knowing the name of the students concerned. The teachers claim the request was made by the head of the Thessaloniki examination center where they were working. He allegedly told the teachers that the marks of French students had also been changed in this manner. The ministry is hoping to complete its probe this weekend. Ex-judge probed Supreme Court judges responsible for checking people’s origin of wealth («pothen esches») details yesterday asked for permission to check the bank accounts of the court’s former president Romylos Kedikoglou and those of his wife. The move comes following a request by Kedikoglou himself after he was questioned about his income by PASOK MPs. Kedikoglou strongly denies that he or his family profited from illegal or corrupt activities. Kedikoglou retired as the president of the Supreme Court at the end of June. Acropolis shut The Acropolis and other ancient sites will be shut this weekend due to a 48-hour strike being held by guards. Other areas that will be off-limits to visitors include ancient sites in Corinth and Sounion. Illegal immigrants The coast guard on the eastern Aegean island of Samos detained 17 illegal immigrants who were attempting to enter the country on board a speedboat and arrested a Turkish national believed to be in charge of the operation. The illegal immigrants, from Somalia and Afghanistan, were taken for medical checks before being sent to a local detention center. Another two Turkish nationals arrested in Samos on Thursday on charges of human trafficking have been remanded in custody, authorities added. Soccer transfer Greek international striker Angelos Charisteas has agreed to join German Cup winners Nuremberg from Dutch side Feyenord. Charisteas has signed a four-year contract for a reported fee of 2.5 million euros, subject to a medical next week. Charisteas is a regular for Greece and achieved hero status after scoring the goal against Portugal that won Euro 2004.