NEWS

In Brief

Face-to-face

Culture Ministry protesters to meet government officials today Culture Ministry contract workers are due to meet with government officials this morning in a bid to end the dispute over their employment agreements and wages that has led to them being on strike for the past week. The protesting employees blocked the ticket office at the Acropolis again yesterday, leading to visitors being allowed in for free. «We will continue our struggle,» said the head of the contract workers’ union, Nikos Hasomeris, who blasted Culture Ministry officials for not holding talks with the protesters. «There has been no dialogue so far; they have all disappeared,» he said. DOUKAS IRE Ex-minister to sue over Vatopedi Former Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas said yesterday that he would sue members of the parliamentary committee investigating the Vatopedi land swap who recommended he should be indicted over his role in the affair. Doukas, who signed certain documents that were needed for the exchange of public property and monastery land to take place, insists he did nothing wrong and says he is the victim of a political witch hunt. «PASOK is taking us back to a time of civil war and courts-martial,» he said. Walker bailed A British man accused of causing fatal bodily injuries to his girlfriend on Crete was due to be released from custody yesterday, The Associated Press reported. Luke Walker, 22, was arrested in May following the death of 20-year-old Chelsea Hyndman. Walker denies assaulting Hyndman and his lawyer Manolis Kalergis claims that the young Briton suffered her injuries when she slipped and fell while on a night out with friends, leading to her death a few days later. AP reported court authorities as saying that Walker would be asked to post 15,000 euros bail pending trial. Graft fight The Federation of Hospital Doctors’ Unions (OENGE) said yesterday that it has distributed posters to all its members that encourage patients to stop giving bribes, known as fakelakia (small envelopes), to doctors. OENGE president Dimitris Varnavas said that the posters will be put up at state hospitals as of Friday. They say: «Fellow citizen, if they ask you for a small envelope, give them an empty one. Don’t take part, help us rid ourselves of corruption.» Varnavas said that he hopes the posters will help to convince patients to stop giving cash to their doctors for preferential treatment. Immunity lifted New Democracy deputy Dimitris Stamatis had his parliamentary immunity lifted yesterday following a majority decision in the House. Stamatis has been charge with abuse of authority in connection to actions between 2002 and 2003 while he was prefect of Aitoloacarnania. NYC consulate Greece’s general consul in New York, Evangelos Kyriakopoulos, denied yesterday that the consulate had received any threatening e-mail or phone calls concerning the Iranian refugees that are protesting outside the University of Athens. Kyriakopoulos said that some messages regarding the Iranian asylum seekers had been received but they did not include any threats. Greek diplomats were placed on alert earlier this week after the consulate in Los Angeles received what were deemed to be threatening messages.