NEWS

In Brief

CONTRACT DISPUTE

Culture Ministry workers due to shut Acropolis again from today Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said yesterday that an amendment would be tabled in Parliament in the next few days to settle the problem that has seen some 700 contract workers go unpaid for several months but the move is unlikely to prevent more strikes at the Acropolis. The issue is only one of several matters that has led to employees of the Culture Ministry forcing the closure of the Acropolis in recent weeks. Their main demand is that they be made permanent employees. Despite Samaras’s announcement, the contract workers said that they are planning to hold rolling 24-hour strikes from today, which will lead to the Acropolis being shut. Bishop let off Panteleimon could make return The Church of Greece’s Holy Synod yesterday decided by seven votes to five not to force the jailed former bishop of Attica, Panteleimon, to face a Church court. As of 2006, Panteleimon has been serving a six-year jail sentence in Korydallos Prison for embezzlement. An internal report, compiled by Bishop Serapheim of Karystia after three years of research, suggested that Panteleimon should be tried on four counts: setting up an offshore company, having bank accounts with excessively large deposits, scandalizing the faithful and embezzling 195,000 euros from an Attica monastery. However, the Holy Synod’s decision means that the ex-bishop will not face further action and could be free to return to the Church upon his release from jail. OKANA finances Some of the methadone centers run by the Organization Against Drugs (OKANA) are in danger of shutting down because of a shortage of cash, it was revealed yesterday. OKANA is waiting to receive state funding of some 14 million euros, part of which was due in 2007 and the rest last year. Employees said that they have not been paid for the last four months. Postman robbed Police in Thessaloniki were yesterday searching for two armed robbers that allegedly held up a postman and stole some 2,000 euros from him. The postman told police that two men he did not recognize approached him from behind as he was delivering letters. One of the assailants had a knife and the other had a gun, the postman told police. The pair are thought to have stolen some 1,500 euros from his mail bag and another 500 euros from his wallet. Dealers nabbed A Greek man and an Albanian have been arrested in Thessaloniki on suspicion of preparing to sell more than 11 kilos of heroin to local drug addicts, police said yesterday. The Albanian, 25, was arrested first when officers stopped his car and found inside 11.1 kilos of the drug in bundles. The suspect then informed the police that he got the heroin from the 32-year-old Greek, who was arrested at his home. Bank arson A branch of Aspis Bank in the southern Athens neighborhood of Neo Faliron was firebombed early yesterday. Assailants left an incendiary device at the entrance to the bank at about 1.45 a.m., according to police. The explosion caused minor damage to the branch but no injuries.