NEWS

In Brief

STASSINOPOULOS DIES

Former Council of State judge was first post-junta president Michalis Stassinopoulos, Greece’s first post-dictatorship president, died yesterday aged 99. A former Council of State president deposed by the 1967-74 junta for issuing a 1967 decision against the legality of the military regime, the Messini-born Stassinopoulos was elected to Parliament with conservative New Democracy in 1974, and served from December 1974 to June 1975 as the country’s temporary president until the election, by Parliament, of Constantine Tsatsos. From 1976 to 1978, Stassinopoulos served as an ad hoc judge at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Prime Minister Costas Simitis late yesterday expressed his regrets. NOVEMBER 17 Full-time terrorists received monthly wages, suspect says The November 17 terrorist group operated on two levels, with full-time operatives receiving a monthly salary, jailed N17 suspect Costas Telios testified yesterday from Korydallos Prison. «There was a basic team to which Dimitris Koufodinas, Savvas Xeros, Christodoulos Xeros and Vassilis Tzortzatos belonged,» Telios told examining magistrate Leonidas Zervobeakos. The 37-year-old schoolteacher said there was another team, operating above the first and comprising two people with the code names Lambros and Nikitas, with which he had no contact. PERSONAL DATA Draft bill to protect health details Legislation to be tabled in Parliament this month foresees more effective protection of employees’ personal details and will restrict employers from access to any information on the health status of their staff beyond the results of medical and laboratory tests, Labor Minister Dimitris Reppas said yesterday. The draft bill is intended to grant employees greater control of their medical records (including their DNA) which would only be available to employers for analysis if absolutely necessary. Crime spree A 39-year-old teacher and a 54-year-old taxi driver have been charged with spearheading a criminal ring responsible for car thefts from car showrooms, blackmail of storeowners, and arson and firebomb attacks on stores, police said yesterday. Vassileios Sidiropoulos and Christos Skottis were arrested along with another man in connection with a string of crimes culminating in May this year, police said. The gang’s approach was to stage a theft or attack before proceeding to blackmail, according to police. Australian route cut The umbrella union representing all Olympic Airways staff yesterday appealed to the management of the ailing state carrier and to the government to reverse a decision axing its Australian flights as of today. Also yesterday, protesting OA flight attendants said they would stage a three-hour work stoppage from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Monday. Meanwhile, Australia’s tourism minister for the state of Victoria, John Pandazopoulos, reiterated his appeals for the state carrier’s Australian service to continue, in a letter to Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Store hours Stores will be open until 8 p.m. daily and until 6 p.m. on Saturdays as of today when they switch to winter hours. Winter hours apply until March 31 when Daylight Saving Time ends. Forest fire Firefighters yesterday morning managed to contain a forest blaze that broke out on the island of Kythera on Wednesday afternoon. The fire burnt three hectares of trees. Immigrants Chios port authorities yesterday detained 16 illegal immigrants found swimming off the island’s western coast near a sinking wooden boat they had used to cross into Greek waters from Turkey, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The 11 men, two women and three children were uninjured. Cheaper electricity Electricity will be available at a cheaper rate between the hours of 3.30-5.30 p.m., and between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. daily from today until April 30, 2003, the Public Power Corporation said yesterday. Bulgarian visits Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg is due in Athens today to sign an official declaration of support for the Olympic Truce.