NEWS

In Brief

Education debate

High school teachers’ union rebuffs government overture The president of the State Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OLME), Costas Maniatis, yesterday rejected the government’s overture to join a debate on education reform. Earlier in the week Maniatis dismissed the initiative as a bid «to involve educationalists in an endless and disorienting process.» Meanwhile Thanos Veremis, who heads the National Education Council and has been advising the government on reforms, threatened to abandon his efforts if a concrete framework is not set for the proposed debate. Vatopedi probe Ex-minister’s wife to testify A public notary and her two sons, both lawyers, have been summoned to appear before two public prosecutors next week to answer questions about the controversial Vatopedi monastery land exchange. Aikaterini Peleki and her sons, Dimitris and Dionysis Pelekis, are suspected of making false statements and complicity in committing a breach of faith against the state. Peleki is married to former minister Giorgos Voulgarakis, who was forced to resign in September last year after revelations about his business activities while in office. Arson attack A total of seven vehicles were destroyed in arson attacks early yesterday in Athens. Six cars were torched in an arson attack against a BMW dealership on Vouliagmenis Avenue. An improvised incendiary device consisting of camping gas canisters had been used in the attack. In a separate incident, arsonists set fire to a Transport Ministry vehicle parked in the Athens suburb of Halandri. Sea Diamond An operation to raise the sunken cruise ship Sea Diamond from the seabed off Santorini is to begin within the next 70 days, Deputy Merchant Marine Minister Panayiotis Kammenos told Skai yesterday. He said a study submitted by the owner of the Sea Diamond, which sank in April 2007, had essentially been approved. Writer vindicated A court ruling that had led to a critically acclaimed work by writer Ersi Sotiropoulou being withdrawn from school libraries for allegedly containing «disgusting and pornographic» passages has been overturned, court sources revealed yesterday. Sotiropoulou’s «Zigzag Through the Bitter Orange Trees» was removed from school library shelves last year following an appeal by extreme right-wing MP Constantinos Plevris. Sotiris Hatzigakis, then justice minister, intervened to ask for a review of the ruling. Antiquities theft Two men aged 53 and 49 have been arrested in Athens and charged with antiquities theft after a search of their car on Wednesday night revealed an Attic white lekythos dating to the Classical period. Police said the men had intended to sell the elegant 5th-century BC vessel. Cocaine lab Attica drug squad officers were yesterday questioning a 25-year-old national of Uzbekistan and a 33-year-old Greek after discovering a makeshift drug lab in the foreign national’s rented apartment in Kallithea. Officers confiscated 2.5 kilos of cocaine and 10 kilos of an unidentified substance after a search of the apartment on Wednesday night.