NEWS

In Brief

ELECTION COUNTDOWN

Vote-counting test deemed a success, help for lost voters, elderly, disabled A test conducted yesterday to ensure votes in tomorrow’s municipal and regional elections are efficiently collected and forwarded was a success, Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis said. A cross-party committee will be able to monitor the entire voting procedure and check for any mistakes even while data is being entered into computers, Skandalidis said. Ministry kiosks will be available at all polling stations in the Athens municipality redirecting voters who have gone astray. The ministry is also providing 450 taxis and 137 minibuses, across the 42 electoral districts, to take elderly and disabled voters to poll stations. WEATHER WARNING Ferry passengers should check routes as storms expected this weekend Passengers planning to travel by ferry this weekend should call to check routes are unchanged, and fishing enthusiasts should be especially careful as a spate of stormy weather is set to affect most parts of the country, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday, following a warning from the National Meteorological Service (EMY). Heavy rain and storms are expected across western, central and northern Greece with the Ionian, Epirus, the western mainland, the western Peloponnese, Macedonia and Thessaly likely to be the worst hit, EMY said. Port authorities are on high alert, the ministry said. CUSTOMER KNIFED Taverna owner stabs Albanian An Albanian laborer was in critical condition in hospital after being knifed on Thursday by a taverna owner who refused to serve him a beer, the daily Eleftherotypia reported yesterday. Nikolaos Dambolias, 28, refused to serve Ahmet Elezi at his tavern in the village of Faskomilia, Olympia, and then stabbed him in the back with a knife after the man served himself a beer, the daily said. Elezi, who has worked at Faskomilia’s marble factory for the past seven years, has severe lung damage, the report said. Dambolias has been charged with attempted murder and illegal weapon use, it added. Disaster simulation A response to a simulated series of virtually simultaneous earthquakes in the Balkan region is to be played out on computers by defense officials in 10 countries in a 10-day training program beginning on Tuesday in Athens, the Defense Ministry said yesterday. South Eastern Europe Simulation – for whose development Greece is responsible – will be the first of a series of training exercises formulated by European defense ministers in October 2000 in Thessaloniki. The USA, Turkey, Italy and several Balkan states will participate. Firearms Greece’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Adamantios Vassilakis, yesterday signed the protocol against «the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and  ammunition, supplementing the UN convention against transnational organized crime,» in New York yesterday. The protocol, adopted in May 2001, has been approved by a total of 45 countries and international bodies. PASOK targeted A homemade explosive device that detonated outside a PASOK office in Thessaloniki’s Kallithea district early yesterday morning caused minor damages but no injuries. No one had claimed responsibility for the attack by last night. Bishops elected Four clerics nominated for bishoprics by Archbishop Christodoulos were yesterday appointed to the sees of Nea Smyrni and Voula in Athens, Corfu and the northern town of Edessa. The new bishops are Simeon Koutsas, Nektarios Dovas, Pavlos Tsaousoglou and Ioil Frangakos, respectively. Domestic killing A man who fatally shot his wife on Thursday night at the couple’s Spata home turned the gun on himself afterward, police said yesterday. Giorgos Katsanos, 55, shot himself after killing his wife Dimitra, 53. The reason for Katsanos’s actions were not clear. Red Cross The Greek Red Cross will be holding its annual public collection from November 1 to 30, the organization said yesterday. Citizens are asked to acknowledge the contribution of the 125-year-old group by making a contribution next month.