NEWS

In Brief

Anti-smoking drive

Restrictions to be enforced without exception, minister says Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos yesterday stressed that restrictions on smoking, set to apply from July 1, would be fully enforced by authorities, who would impose fines on violators «without exception.» «The law will be enforced,» Avramopoulos said, appealing to citizens to help the state adhere to European Union standards and curb the risks posed by passive smoking. Bars and restaurants that have failed to designate a smokers’ area by July 1 will automatically be designated as nonsmoking establishments, according to Health Ministry regulations, which also impose a blanket ban on smoking in offices. Thrace row Turk PM wants muftis accepted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday told Turkish television that the reopening of the Halki Orthodox Seminary «could be discussed» if Greece cooperated by recognizing muftis in the northern region of Thrace, which has a large Muslim population. Just over a week before his scheduled visit to Athens for the inauguration of the New Acropolis Museum, Erdogan told Turkey’s NTV channel that he had broached the issue with Greek Premier Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. Bakoyannis said the two issues, that of the patriarchate and Thrace’s Muslim population, were «not comparable.» Arson attack A group of about 20 unidentified arsonists damaged three parked cars and a motorcycle but hurt no individuals early yesterday after hurling several Molotov cocktails at a riot police unit that had been stationed on the corner of Harilaou Trikoupi and Didotou streets in the central Athens district of Exarchia. After the attack, the perpetrators fled on foot, all of whom managed to elude police. ISAP disruption As work continues on the Kifissia-Piraeus urban electric railway (ISAP) there will be no service tomorrow and Sunday between the stations at Omonia and Tavros. Commuters can make use of two replacement bus routes, numbered 010 and 011. Exam results Students who sat university entrance examinations this month and in May are set to receive their grades at the end of June and the decisions regarding their university placement in August, Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos said yesterday. Hail damage Local officials in the northern prefecture of Serres yesterday were inspecting the damage wreaked on farmland by a heavy hailstorm that struck the area on Wednesday. Though the unseasonable storm lasted just a few minutes, it caused serious damage to watermelon beds in the municipality of Kapetan Mitrousi and lesser damage to corn and rice fields. Leros murder A 30-year-old Bulgarian man, whose body was found in a remote area of Leros on Wednesday, is believed to have been behind the strangulation earlier this month of a 29-year-old Bulgarian woman, police on the Dodecanese island said yesterday. The man, who is believed to have been romantically involved with the local store employee, is believed to have died accidentally in a fall.