NEWS

In Brief

ELECTION TALK

Survey puts PASOK ahead; Bakoyannis rejects snap poll A new opinion poll published yesterday put PASOK 1.5 percent ahead of New Democracy. The MARC survey for the Ethnos newspaper suggested that support for the Socialists was running at 31.3 percent and at 29.8 percent for the ruling conservatives. It is the latest of several polls to show PASOK slightly ahead. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said that there is no need for early elections. She told Sunday’s Vima newspaper that confronting the global financial crisis is a bigger priority. BIKE RIDE Record number of participants More than 10,000 people took part in yesterday’s 8-kilometer bicycle ride in central Athens – a record number, according to organizers. Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis pledged that more bicycle lanes would be built in Athens. He said that the City of Athens and the ministry have agreed to build two bicycle lanes in western and northeastern Attica. Visa for USA In response to the news from Washington that Greece would not be included in the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP), the public affairs officer of the US Embassy in Athens, Tom Miller, said in a statement later Friday that: «The US and Greece have worked closely together on VWP, and we have made substantial progress. The United States is committed to working through the remaining issues with the goal of Greece’s future entrance into the Visa Waiver Program and will do so once all of the documents meet the requirements of both governments.» Train pickpocket A pickpocket was caught on board an Athens-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) train on Saturday, after passengers witnessed him stealing a wallet. They informed police, who boarded the carriage at the next stop and arrested the man. His accomplice escaped.