Operation to pump fuel out of wreck to start next week A long-delayed operation to pump thousands of tons of fuel out of the sunken cruise ship Sea Diamond from the seabed off Santorini is to begin next Saturday, it was revealed yesterday. The equipment needed to carry out the operation is due to arrive on the island in the next few days, after authorities signed a contract for the project on Wednesday. In January, Deputy Merchant Marine Minister Panayiotis Kammenos said a study submitted for the recovery of the vessel, which sank in April 2007, essentially had been approved. Puppeteer critical Veteran Spatharis in hospital Evgenios Spatharis, an 85-year-old veteran of the traditional Greek shadow-puppet theater that brought to life the adventures of the hunchback Karagiozis, was in critical condition yesterday after suffering serious head injuries in a fall, doctors said. Spatharis is said to have taken a fall during a performance and to have hit his head, provoking a hemorrhage. Murder-suicide A 70-year-old man who hit his 56-year-old wife on the head and body with a plank of wood at their home in the coastal suburb of Glyfada until she passed out, subsequently committed suicide by shooting himself in the head, police in Athens said yesterday. The elderly man attacked the woman after an argument, according to police, who said the woman was transferred to the hospital with serious injuries. Panteleimon appeal The jailed ex-bishop of Attica, Panteleimon, yesterday lodged an appeal with the European Court of Justice to protest a Supreme Court decision barring him from reassuming his post upon his release from prison. Meanwhile, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece received a letter from a Supreme Court prosecutor,demanding that the disgraced cleric be officially deposed within 15 days. Panteleimon has been serving a six-year jail sentence in Korydallos Prison for embezzling 195,000 euros from an Attica monastery. Arson attacks Unidentified assailants staged to two arson attacks in the Cretan port of Iraklion early yesterday, causing damage but no injuries. In the first hit, the arsonists targeted the entrance to an apartment block, using gas canister bombs to cause limited damage. The second attack, which targeted a car, caused serious damage. Judge disbarred Ioannis Karabelas, a court of first instance judge, was disbarred yesterday on grounds of incompetence after the Supreme Court’s plenary session deemed that he had delayed too often in issuing verdicts. Taverna fire A fire that broke out in a taverna in Thessaloniki late on Wednesday night caused serious damage to the premises but no injuries as the staff and diners managed to evacuate the building in time. Firemen said the blaze started in the kitchen. Drug haul Police in the Peloponnesian town of Kalamata were questioning a 44-year-old Albanian national on drug-dealing charges after discovering more than 4.5 kilos of cannabis hidden in two caves in the area. Officers said they had been observing the 44-year-old for some time.