NEWS

In Brief

STABLE CONDITION

Archbishop Christodoulos receives intravenous chemotherapy treatment Archbishop Christodoulos underwent chemotherapy treatment by intravenous injection yesterday and continues to be in a stable condition. The head of the Church of Greece is suffering from liver cancer, which has spread to parts of his stomach. Doctors decided to inject the archbishop after his condition improved over the last few days. Sources said that the archbishop recently gave Christmas presents to some of his close aides and told them that this might be the last Christmas they spend together. POWER PLANT PROTEST Laconia residents rally to protect NATURA 2000 site Local residents and officials in the municipality of Vion (Neapoli and environs) in southeastern Laconia and the offshore island of Elafonisos are protesting at a private firm’s application to the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) to build a 460 MW power station in their area, a NATURA 2000 site. Mayor Yiannis Kousoulis said yesterday if RAE approved the plan, the municipality, which has voted unanimously against the move, will take further protest action. CLUB VANDAL President fires gun to deter assailant The head of the Friends of Eastern Attica Police Club and a member of a group of vandals that ransacked the association’s offices in Aegaleo, eastern Athens, were both charged yesterday. The club president, who fired into the air to deter the assailant, was charged with illegal use of a firearm while the assailant was charged with causing damage, possession of an illegal weapon and using threatening behaviour. Neither of the men was named. Tax kickbacks Two tax office employees have been accused of demanding a 20,000-euro bribe from a taxpayer as a means of settling his tax obligations, according to authorities. Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said the government will come down hard on corrupt officials and that the fight against corruption is ongoing. Deputy Finance Minister Antonis Bezas has denied press reports that he is related to one of the tax officials. British Embassy Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said yesterday there are no plans to lift traffic restrictions from the area around the British Embassy, apart from for a brief period early next year when works will take place in the Kolonaki area in central Athens. Pavlopoulos was responding to a complaint from LAOS leader Giorgos Karatzaferis about the restrictions around the British Embassy. Pavlopoulos said that public safety was paramount. Factory fire Large quantities of wood were burnt during a fire at a timber factory in Thessaloniki yesterday but there were no reports of injuries, authorities said. The blaze broke out at around 11 a.m. and spread to the factory’s facilities before being put out by a team of firefighters using 18 trucks. Bar safety Athens Prefect Yiannis Sgouros yesterday distributed a circular to 48 mayors in the greater Athens area, calling for stricter enforcement of health and safety regulations in bars and nightclubs over the Christmas period. The aim of the crackdown, the circular said, was «to avert any unpleasant incidents during the festive season when these establishments are brimming with people.» Sgouros called on municipal authorities to revoke the licenses of any bars or clubs found to be breaking health and safety laws by serving adulterated alcohol or food that has expired US visa fees The application fee for a US non-immigrant visa will increase from $100 to $131 worldwide from January 1, the US Embassy in Athens said yesterday. Applicants who have paid the $100 fee before January 1 will be processed without further payment if they appear for a visa interview before January 31, the embassy said. Youths arrested Two youths, aged 18 and 19, were arrested in Kilkis, northern Greece, for shopping with fake 100 euro notes, police said yesterday. The suspects were found to be in possession of 1,100 euros of counterfeit money, police added.