NEWS

In Brief

OFFICER ATTACKED

Group of men try to steal gun from policeman near Omonia Square Police were conducting a manhunt yesterday for a group of unknown men that physically attacked an off-duty officer in Omonia, central Athens. The officer was driving past the area on his motorcycle when he was approached by the men, throught to be Sudanese nationals, and attacked. The assailants took the officer’s service revolver but the gun backfired in the struggle, injuring one of the assailants in the knee. The suspect is being treated at an Athens hospital under police guard, authorities added. IERONYMOS IRE Archbishop angry with wording of Synod response to cohabitation law Archbishop Ieronymos, the head of the Church of Greece, is upset the Holy Synod issued a statement on Monday saying that any form of partnership that is not a marriage sanctioned by the Orthodox Church is «prostitution,» sources said yesterday. The statement was apparently composed by Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki, who insists that the wording was approved by the entire Synod. Sources said that Ieronymos was disturbed with the strong language used in the statement, although he did not object to the Church expressing opposition to the government’s plans to introduce a cohabitation law. PASOK COUNCIL Members to be elected on Friday PASOK’s newly elected national council is due to meet on Friday to elect the party’s secretary and its political council, which is the Socialists’ main decision-making body, sources said yesterday. PASOK leader George Papandreou has said he will not nominate former ministers or deputy ministers for a seat on the political council in a bid to renew the party’s image. He is also known to want a young face for the role of party secretary but he will wait to see if the 150 members of the national council agree with his choices. Torch security The police said yesterday that they would adopt strict security measures at Ancient Olympia for the lighting of the Olympic Torch on Monday amid fears of protests by Tibetans. Officers will line the route of the torch relay, from Olympia to Athens, to prevent the event from being disrupted by campaigners protesting against the treatment of Tibetans by Chinese forces during several days of unrest recently. Police had to intervene earlier this month when a group of some 10 Tibetans attempted to hold their own torch-lighting ceremony at Ancient Olympia. Bribery trial The trial of a former Competition Commission director, a customs official and a wheat merchant accused of colluding to demand a 2.5-million-euro bribe from the Mevgal dairy firm so the watchdog would not fine the company, was postponed yesterday until May 26. The latest postponement was decided due to the lawyers’ strike this week. Trash fires The fire service was called early yesterday to extinguish six fires that broke out in trash bins in Thessaloniki. It was unclear who might have been behind the fires, which appeared to be arson attacks as they broke out one after the other at different sites. Lighthouse vandalized Authorities in Hania yesterday called for intensified policing of the old port after vandals wrecked a Venetian lighthouse. The vandals cut through the cables supplying power to the lighthouse and caused widespread damage to the surrounding area. It was the latest in a series of acts of vandalism upon the lighthouse, which had recently undergone renovation, and the area of the old port in general. Ferry towed Port Authority officials on Poros yesterday oversaw the process of towing away a tourist boat that foundered off the island last Thursday. Nobody aboard the Giorgis was injured when it hit a marked reef near the island for reasons that remain unclear.