NEWS

In Brief

KIFISSOS RETHINK

Anti-flood works to be overhauled, old bridges to be replaced Anti-flood works along the Kifissos River, especially in the flood-plagued areas of Rendi and Moschato, are due for an overhaul, Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou said yesterday. This will necessitate the destruction of some already completed works as all existing bridges with supports built into the riverbed are to be demolished and replaced by bridges with supports on either bank of the river. Papandreou said all new bridges would be built using a sturdier steel and concrete mix instead of cement. This will increase the cost of works, she said, without elaborating. The project’s completion date of April 2004 is unchanged, she said. PSOMIADIS AEK owner out on 200,000-euro bail pending appeal of 12-year sentence AEK soccer club owner Chrysostomos «Makis» Psomiadis yesterday paid 200,000 euros in bail to secure his release from prison pending his appeal against a 12-year jail sentence for publishing a forged document purporting to show government corruption in the construction of Athens International Airport. Psomiadis had asked for a deferment on the grounds of tuberculosis. A date for his appeal against the conviction has not yet been set. An Athens court found Psomiadis guilty last Tuesday of having published in 1996 a forged bank document in the now defunct To Onoma newspaper which he owned. He spent the past week in an Athenian hospital. FRUIT, VEGETABLES Strike made produce more expensive Fruit and vegetable prices have increased by up to 43 percent since last Monday when street market vendors launched a weeklong strike, the Development Ministry said yesterday after checking prices. Melons and beetroot are up 42.85 percent, potatoes are up 12.5 percent but tomatoes are down 9.1 percent, according to ministry figures. A surplus of perishable produce was sold at cheaper prices but the overall trend was of price hikes, the ministry said. Vendors refuse to use cash machines. Talks with the government were to start today. Polling stations Citizens voting in this Sunday’s municipal and prefectural elections can use their mobile phones to determine the address of their polling stations, the Interior Ministry said yesterday. Thousands of Athenians yesterday began applying for information as to where they will vote. Sending a text message with a surname and date of birth to the number 1520 will activate a return message containing the exact address of the relevant polling station, the ministry said. The same information can be gained by calling 1464 or visiting the ministry’s website at www.ypes.gr Bomb claim A group called the New Revolutionary Popular Struggle (NELA) has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s firebomb attack on a Citibank branch in central Athens and has threatened more strikes, the daily Eleftherotypia reported yesterday after receiving an anonymous call. This is NELA’s third strike, following two firebomb attacks in July – the first at an Allied military graveyard in Palaio Faliron and the second outside ferry ticket offices in Piraeus. Thessaloniki buses Thessaloniki’s bus service is to be suspended from 10.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today as bus company employees have called a work stoppage in order to attend a general meeting regarding the signing of a collective work contract. Rain damage Sunday’s heavy rainfall across northern Greece flooded homes and caused transport chaos after rivers broke their banks. The northern municipality of Paggaio was particularly badly affected with dozens of homes and business flooded. Halkidiki was also hit by floods. The railway route connecting Alexandroupolis and Komotini in northeastern Greece was closed but due to reopen today. Indian visit Indian Prime Minister Ata Behari Vajpayee arrived in Nicosia yesterday for a two-day visit aimed at boosting bilateral relations and discussing common regional concerns. Iraq is expected to be high on the agenda of talks. The two countries are expected to sign bilateral agreements covering public health, culture and other fields. Vajpayee’s visit is the first by an Indian prime minister since Indira Gandhi visited in 1983.