NEWS

In Brief

LESPEROGLOU

Court rejects postponement appeal of jail term for alleged terrorist An Athens appeals court yesterday refused a request by alleged left-wing terrorist Avraam Lesperoglou for the postponement of his 17-year prison sentence. Lesperoglou, 48, was jailed in Korydallos nearly a month ago, pending a third trial for the attempted murder of a policeman 20 years ago that is due to start next Monday. An appeals court decision last year, acquitting Lesperoglou of trying to kill Giorgos Psaroudakis in Exarchia, was overturned by the Supreme Court in June. Lesperoglou has described the revival of his original jail sentence as illegal. PUBLISHER PROSECUTED Androulidakis arrested in his offices for failing to pay Tempo staff Media entrepreneur Michalis Androulidakis appeared before an Athens prosecutor yesterday afternoon charged with failing to pay his employees for months. Androulidakis, who owns the television channel Tempo and radio station Planet, was arrested at Tempo’s offices earlier yesterday after staff at the TV station, some of whom have not been paid for six months, brought charges against their employer last Friday. Androulidakis was released pending trial. THEODORAKIS SUES ND MP, publisher face libel suits Composer Mikis Theodorakis is launching libel suits against New Democracy MP Nikitas Kaklamanis and the publisher of the extreme right-wing newspaper Eleftheri Ora, Grigoris Michalopoulos, following claims by the latter two that Theodorakis’s new opera cost 1.6 billion drachmas (4.7 million euros) to produce due principally to the composer’s own fee. «Lysistrata» cost 700 million drachmas (2.05 million euros) to produce and Theodorakis has refused payment for his composition work, according to a statement yesterday by the Athens Concert Hall, which produced the opera. Electoral lists The number of voters on the electoral register is up to 9,856,453 from 9,200,000, Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis said yesterday on completion of a voting list review. Of the new total, 66,000 are double entries. Of these, 9,500 are registered in the Athens municipality, which comprises a total of 553,258 voters – 150,000 of whom are newly registered. The lists are accessible from today on the Internet or by telephoning 1464. The same number will be providing information on voting districts from September 23. Work training Up to 8,000 jobless Greeks will receive training on the country’s major construction sites with the aim of securing permanent employment, the Labor Ministry announced yesterday. The government-backed scheme, for which 14.3 million euros had originally been earmarked to train 3,000 people, now has 41.08 million euros at its disposal, the ministry said. The deadline for the completion of all programs – involving between 200 and 500 hours of training – is March 31, 2003, after which participating contractors must employ at least one third of their trainees for at least four months, the ministry added. Immigrants A group of 66 illegal immigrants, discovered in a truck heading toward Epidaurus yesterday, had been deposited at the Methana peninsula, in the northeastern Peloponnese, by two Romanians captaining a British-flagged yacht named Monkey Mischief a few hours earlier. Romanians Ivan Seryei and Sergei Giperska and the 66 would-be migrants, whose nationalities were not revealed, are all being detained by port authorities at Methana. Also yesterday, 20 Afghan immigrants were escorted back to Turkey after their wooden fishing boat was spotted approaching the Dodecanesian island of Symi. Diplomats’ pay Diplomats are to receive an increase in their basic salary as of July 1, 2003 following an amendment tabled in Parliament yesterday. Diplomats had been protesting over inadequate pay. Unwelcome loans Dozens of residents of Korinos in the northern prefecture of Pieria demonstrated outside a bank in central Thessaloniki yesterday over the issuance of loans they had asked for five years ago but no longer need. The protesters had requested loans to the tune of one million drachmas (2,934 euros) each from Ergobank to build seaside homes and had asked the bank to issue the loans once construction work began. But although their project was put on hold, the loans were issued anyway by Eurobank, which had bought out Ergobank in a merger.