NEWS

In Brief

2004 SCAM

Greek jailed on charges of defrauding over 1,000 workers Ioannis Petropoulos, a 56-year-old economist accused of tricking over 1,200 Cambodians and many Indonesians and Thais into paying deposits in exchange for non-existent Olympic work contracts in Greece, was remanded in custody yesterday pending trial on fraud charges. Petropoulos is believed to have gained over $1 million from the scam. Yesterday, he told the investigating judge that he was innocent and was simply an employee of the Canadian-based JRN International Corp. which worked with a Cambodian company in construction projects around the world. The Cambodian government, meanwhile, welcomed Petropoulos’s arrest. EASTER EXODUS 150,000 cars leave Athens, ferries, coaches run extra trips Traffic police were out in force yesterday as May Day demonstrations and transport strikes caused road chaos with central Athens gridlocked and kilometer-long queues stretching back from the port of Rio. More than 150,000 cars have left the capital since the weekend – the biggest exodus for years. Ferries, trains and coaches have scheduled extra trips to cope with increased demand (only a few ferry tickets remain for Crete and the Cyclades). Olympic Airways passengers should call 010.966.6666 before traveling. SCHOOLGIRL MURDER Father’s car found Police investigating the murder of a 13-year-old girl – found stabbed to death on Saturday at her home in Pelasgia, near Lamia, from which her father had disappeared – yesterday located the latter’s car in the village of Karteri which is off the national road leading to the port of Igoumenitsa. Police believe Christos Voulgarakis was probably heading for Igoumenitsa, from where ferries leave for Italy. Museum hours A Culture Ministry decision to extend the opening hours of 34 Greek museums until late in the evening on Wednesdays (11 p. m. in summer and 9 p. m. in winter) has infuriated the union for employees of museums and archaeological sites, which yesterday threatened strikes after May 15. Unionists say the decision was made without consulting them on corresponding changes in work hours and wages. Boy murderer A 15-year-old boy who has confessed to the murder last Thursday of a 68-year woman in her home in the Athens district of Vyronas will be placed under psychiatric supervision at the child detention center in Avlona, north of Athens, a magistrate decided yesterday. The boy – who is too young to be named – stole 350 euros from Laura Demenikioti before stabbing her twice in the heart. Archbishop faints Archbishop Christodoulos was fine yesterday afternoon after recovering from a fainting spell at the state Asklipeio Hospital in the southern Athens coastal suburb of Voula which he had been visiting, doctors said yesterday, adding that Christodoulos had been suffering from low blood sugar. Footballer The case of Turkish-Cypriot soccer player Sabri Selden – who abandoned his team in the north to play for Greek-Cypriot team AEK Larnaca which rejected him on the grounds of ethnic impurity – will be discussed by the Cabinet today, Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides said on Tuesday. Responding to reports of pressure on Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to block Selden’s return to the north, Clerides said the midfielder can stay in the south – without Cypriot citizenship – if returning to the north would put his life at risk. Athens quake A slight tremor, measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale, which was felt in Attica just after noon on Tuesday is no cause for concern, Athens seismologists said. The quake’s epicenter was off the port of Rafina. President The musings of a journalist questioning the stance of President Costis Stephanopoulos during the 1967-1974 military dictatorship – aired by right-wing private television channel Tele-Asty earlier this week – have been dismissed as «ridiculous assertions» by government spokesman Christos Protopappas.