NEWS

In Brief

PAPADOPOULOS CRITICAL

Ex-Cypriot president battling advanced lung cancer Former Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos was said to be in critical but stable condition over the weekend as he continued to battle an advanced form of lung cancer. The 74-year-old has been in Nicosia general hospital’s Intensive Care Unit with severe respiratory problems since November 22. Current President Dimitris Christofias visited Papadopoulos briefly on Saturday. «We are all praying and our thoughts are with Tassos Papadopoulos and all his family,» said Christofias. WORK STOPPAGE Local authority troubles Local authority employees have decided to hold a four-hour work stoppage today, starting from 11 a.m. They are protesting about planned changes to the role of the municipal police and plans to subcontract some of the duties performed by local authorities to private companies. They are also demanding the immediate ratification of their collective labor agreement. Vatopedi inquiry Three Bank of Greece analysts are due to appear before a parliamentary investigative committee today to reveal what information they have discovered after inspecting the bank accounts of the Vatopedi Monastery. Meanwhile, the judicial investigation into the property exchange between the monastery and the state is due to begin calling witnesses today. Spata matricide Police were yesterday looking for a 16-year-old girl from Spata, northeast of Athens, who is suspected of having murdered her mother. Officers said the teenager lived at home with her 43-year-old mother and younger sister and, according to neighbors, the three often had loud arguments. Police said that it was not immediately clear why the 16-year-old allegedly stabbed her mother to death. PASOK ahead Two opinion polls published over the weekend showed PASOK having a comfortable lead over the government. The Socialists are 7.7 percent ahead of New Democracy in terms of people’s voting intentions, according to a poll carried out by Focus for the Real News newspaper. A survey conducted by MARC for Sunday’s Ethnos newspaper indicated that support for PASOK is running at 34.1 percent and for New Democracy at 28.9 percent. Sea Diamond Residents of Santorini have decided to permanently block the entrance to the local tax office starting December 17 in protest at the failure to remove the wreckage of the cruise ship Sea Diamond from the island’s waters. Both the company that owns the ship and the government have refused to pay for the shipwreck to be raised and removed. Abducted doctor Police have been unable to establish the whereabouts of a 51-year-old doctor who was abducted from his home in Varkiza, southern Athens, on Friday, officers said on Saturday. Two of the family’s cars were found burned in Ekali and Varkiza a few hours after the abduction, but police were not able to discover any other clues.