NEWS

In Brief

Cohabitation law

Justice minister and archbishop to discuss controversial legislation Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis is due to meet today with Archbishop Ieronymos at the latter’s official residence in Plaka to discuss the government’s plans to introduce a cohabitation law, giving partners in a relationship the same rights as if they were married. Hatzigakis reportedly requested the meeting following opposition from many clerics who claim the move would «downgrade the institution of marriage.» But Ieronymos appears to be prepared. «Life goes on and we must learn to tackle its challenges,» he said, adding that the Holy Synod would debate the matter when it convenes next week. Ancient surgery Skull of patient from 3rd century found during dig in northern Greece Archaeologists in northern Greece said yesterday that they had unearthed the skull of a young woman believed to have undergone head surgery nearly 1,800 years ago. The team of Greek scientists, who discovered the skeleton at an ancient cemetery in Veria, said the skull bore perforations that indicate emergency surgery had been performed. Their examination of the skull concluded that it had belonged to a woman who had suffered a severe blow to the head and had died during or after the operation. Ancient writings contain frequent references to such operations but perforated skulls are rarely found in Greece, experts said. Dirty reputation Athens third-grimiest city in EU? Athens is the third-dirtiest city in Europe, according to a survey carried out by the Tripadvisor travel website. Athens did not feature in the top three of any other category such as «most friendly locals,» «best parks» or «most romantic.» London was voted the most expensive and dirtiest city by more than 1,100 travelers who took part in the survey. Brussels was deemed to be the most boring, according to the British survey. Paris was voted the most unfriendly city in Europe but was also found to be the most romantic. Brave teller Two armed robbers left empty-handed from a branch of Alpha Bank yesterday after a female cashier tackled one of the two assailants, police said. The holdup took place in a busy central street of Kavala when two men armed with sawn-off shotguns entered the branch. While one of the armed men stood guard at the bank’s entrance, his accomplice instructed a female teller to hand over the cash. The woman, however, reacted by grabbing the gunman’s arm when he struck her over the head with the butt of his rifle before running out of the bank with his accomplice. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and received four stitches to her head. Cancer tests All citizens of Attica aged between 55 and 70 can this month take advantage of a state-backed drive offering free tests for cancer of the large intestine. The disease affects one in 16 men and one in 20 women but its incidence can be reduced by healthy eating, exercise and curbing smoking, experts say. The free tests are being offered at Vioiatriki diagnostic centers to those who show their police identity cards. Those who are interested in having a test can telephone 210.698.4482 to make an appointment. Waning libidos Many women visiting sexual and psychological counselors suffer from a waning sex drive, according to the results of a study of 10,300 Greek women. Nearly one in four (38 percent) experience a lack of desire while 26 percent feel bored by the physical act of sex, according to the study by the Institute of Mental and Sexual Health. Of the women experiencing such problems, six in 10 are married, the survey said. Rescue operation Coast guard vessels were yesterday scouring the Thermaic Gulf in a bid to locate a vessel that sent out a distress call late in the afternoon. Authorities did not say what kind of vessel it was nor how many people were aboard.