NEWS

In Brief

DOPING PROBE

Former coach, assistant, given extra time to prepare their testimonies Former national weightlifting coach Christos Iakovou and his assistant Valerios Leonidis have been given until May 5 to prepare their testimonies. Both men appeared before prosecutor Andreas Karaflos yesterday to receive the extension. The 11 weightlifters who failed their doping tests are due to appear in court on May 2. Four other members of the coaching team and two physiotherapists began their depositions yesterday. Exiting the court, Leonidis, a former weightlifter, said: «the truth will come out at some point.» DATA PROTECTION Greeks more reluctant than EU peers to be tracked for anti-terror drive Greeks are significantly more opposed to having their personal data monitored as part of the fight against international terrorism than their European Union counterparts, a new Eurobarometer survey has revealed. When asked if they would be willing to have their telephone conversations monitored, 42.3 percent of Greeks said «no,» as compared to an EU average of 27.2 percent. As regards the monitoring of their Internet use, 43.8 percent said «no» compared to an EU average of 22.9 percent. And 49 percent of Greeks objected to their credit card payments being tracked, compared to 28 percent in the EU. FIRE AID Ministry refutes local prefect’s claims The Environment and Public Works Ministry denied claims by Ileia Prefect Haralambos Kafyras that little has been done to help the area in the Peloponnese that was ravaged by fire last summer. The ministry said that it has dealt with 186 applications for buildings to be rebuilt or renovated and said that the speed with which the work is carried out depends on how quickly applications are submitted. It also blamed some of the holdups on the prefecture, which has to issue construction licenses in some cases. Siemens investigation A prosecutor has called on seven ex-Siemens Hellas employees to give evidence as suspects in regards to claims the company had bribed Greek government officials to win contracts ahead of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Three of the suspects will be required to give evidence today and the other four next week. The crimes being investigated relate to money laundering and bribing state officials. Migrant leaflet A new multilingual leaflet seeks to inform migrants living and working in Greece of their rights and instruct them as to how to deal with bureaucratic hurdles in their daily life, the Hellenic Migration Policy Institute (IMEPO) said yesterday. The leaflet is available in six languages: English, Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Greek. Hot mobiles A 34-year-old man has been charged with selling dozens of stolen mobile phones out of his store in Thessaloniki, police in the northern city said yesterday. A total of 234 mobiles were found in his store. Officers also arrested a 49-year-old man after finding 59 stolen mobiles at his home. It was unclear if the two men had been collaborating. Cars damaged A homemade bomb went off in the Athens suburb of Galatsi yesterday, damaging seven cars, police said. No one was hurt in the incident. The explosion took place outside a car dealership shortly before 3 a.m., causing serious damage to three vehicles. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Protesting breeders Livestock farmers in Drama, northern Greece, will continue to block meat from being sold on the market today after failing to agree with wholesalers on a selling price for lamb during the Easter period. Farmers have taken over prefecture services that check the meat before being sold to consumers. They have also threatened to stop meat from being imported or exported from the country until they agree on a selling price with wholesalers. Cigarette smugglers An appeals court in Thessaloniki yesterday upheld a verdict from February 2006 that sentenced to 25 years in prison brothers Giorgos and Iraklis Anthemidis for running one of the country’s biggest cigarette-smuggling rings.