NEWS

In Brief

MINISTER’S ULTIMATUM

Samaras calls for employees’ closures of Acropolis to end As protesting Culture Ministry workers blocked access to the Acropolis again yesterday, Minister Antonis Samaras said they were «condemning» the capital’s landmark monument and warned that their protest action was unfair and would work against them. The workers are pressing the government to renew their expired short-term contracts and provide them with some four months in unpaid wages. The protesters, who also prevented tourists from accessing the capital’s landmark monument for three days last week, have threatened to repeat their action next Wednesday. Several hundred ministry employees whose contracts were not renewed have taken legal action. KORYDALLOS ESCAPE Dendias accepts some blame Justice Minister Nikos Dendias yesterday assumed the political responsibility for last month’s escape from Korydallos Prison by serial robber Vassilis Palaiocostas and convicted murderer Alket Rizai but said long-established problems within the penitentiary system were to blame for the breakout. «There are political responsibilities and they are mine,» Dendias said in response to a question submitted in Parliament by an MP from far-right LAOS. But Dendias highlighted «ailments in the system that need to be cured.» Fatal fire Firemen yesterday recovered the charred remains of an 84-year-old woman and her 25-year-old granddaughter from their home in Megalohori, in the northern prefecture of Serres, where a fire broke out in the early hours of yesterday morning. Firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze in time to avert its spread to adjacent houses but were too late to save the two women. The cause of the blaze was unclear. Women’s transport Women will be entitled to free travel on all forms of public transport in Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as on intercity trains and coaches on International Women’s Day on Sunday, Transport Minister Evripidis Stylianidis said yesterday. The minister described the move as a «minimal, symbolic gesture of acknowledgement of the role and contribution of women in today’s society.» Drug haul Police in Thessaloniki were questioning four people yesterday after discovering more than 50 kilos of cannabis in their possession. Officers also confiscated 15,000 euros, believed to be the proceeds of drug deals. Meanwhile in Trikala, a 46-year-old man was found dead in his car of a suspected overdose. Police found a syringe and a small package of heroin on the seat next to him. Murder suspect A 31-year-old Greek man yesterday faced murder charges after allegedly admitting to knifing a 44-year-old hairdresser in the latter’s home in Ilioupoli, southeastern Athens, in early February. According to police, the suspect admitted to arguing with the 44-year-old before grabbing a knife from his kitchen and stabbing him several times. The nature of the relationship between the two men was unclear.