NEWS

In Brief

TUNNEL

PM opens undersea link between Actium and Preveza Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday inaugurated an undersea link between the towns of Actium and Preveza in western Greece, saying that the 1,600-meter tunnel and its road links «are a visible example of a modernizing Greece.» The tunnel bypasses Preveza and cuts the driving time from Actium to Igoumenitsa in northwestern Greece by at least 35 minutes. The total project, with roadworks linking it to the Preveza-Igoumenitsa highway, will cost 93.9 million euros. CYPRUS Commissioner outlines steps on road to EU accession The European Commissioner for enlargement, Guenter Verheugen, has described the steps that will be taken on Cyprus’s road toward EU accession, according to the Cypriot newspaper Fileleftheros yesterday. The paper said a note by the commissioner described October 16 as the most important step as it will be the day on which the Commission will present its progress report to the European Parliament and Council and, on the basis of this the Council will decide which countries will be able to conclude their accession talks at the Copenhagen summit at the end of the year. In January, the accession documents and treaties will be completed and the Commission will then make its formal proposals. In February 2003 the European Parliament and foreign ministers’ council will confirm the decisions before the accession treaties are signed in the spring, during the Greek EU presidency, the report said. VIOLENT MUGGING Victim in critical condition The ex-wife of Athens industrialist and convicted murderer Iosif Vayionis was yesterday in critical condition in a hospital after being dragged several meters by two motorbike-borne assailants who had grabbed her bag. Angeliki Papadopoulos, 57, was walking along Vouliagmenis Avenue when the muggers attacked her at the junction with Reas Street. Witnesses said it appeared that one of the assailants who kicked her was trying to kill her. She suffered severe damage to her liver, reports said. Vayionis was released from jail in March after serving eight years of a 17-year sentence for the sword murder of his girlfriend Eleni Paschou in 1994. Wedding shooting An Athens magistrate yesterday decided to release, subject to a 3,000-euro bail payment, a man who caused his friend serious head injuries after firing celebratory shots during a Cretan wedding in eastern Attica early on Monday. Lefteris Vrouvakis, 28, is charged with the attempted manslaughter with possible premeditation and malice of Charidimos Manarolis, 24, who has been in a critical condition since the shooting which Vrouvakis claims was an accident. Animals poisoned Environmentalists are insisting on stricter controls and punishment for the extermination of wild animals after Tuesday’s discovery of a poisoned bear and pig near the village of Vytouma in Trikala, reports said yesterday. The animals, found a short distance apart, died after consuming bait laced with poison – probably pesticides, environmental group Arcturos said yesterday. Poisoned bait has killed dozens of bears in the central Pindos mountain range over the last decade, the group said and called for a crackdown on the use of poisoned bait to kill wild animals. Kalamata quake An undersea quake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale occurred off the southern coastal city of Kalamata just after 8.30 a.m. yesterday but there were no reports of injuries or damage. The quake’s epicenter was under the Messenean Gulf, 30 kilometers from Kalamata, Athens seismologists said. Premier’s residence The road in front of the prime minister’s central Athens residence was yesterday reopened to cars which had been banned from using a section of it since a gunman fired shots outside the apartment block two weeks ago. Costas Simitis was at his Kolonaki home when heroin addict Dimitris Aivadzidis, 38, went on his June 8 shooting spree. Navy week Navy enthusiasts can look forward to the arrival of dozens of ships at ports across the country, official tours of ships and displays by navy divers when «Navy Week» begins on Sunday. Details of the event’s agenda can be found at www.hellenicnavy.gr