NEWS

In Brief

ATHENS RALLY

Workers protest price hikes, call for more pay, funding The General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) and the civil servants' federation (ADEDY) are to hold a rally at 4 p.m. today at the Pedion tou Areos park in central Athens, protesting against unemployment and price rises. A similar rally is to take place in Thessaloniki. Also today, bank staff are to strike from 12.15 to 2 p.m. in protest at proposed changes to their social insurance systems. Secondary school teachers are also due to join today's protests, calling for salary increases and more state funding. TAXI STRIKE No cabs from 5 a.m. tomorrow There will be no taxis from 5 a.m. tomorrow as taxi drivers stage a nationwide 24-hour strike, demanding the right to charge higher fares and access to bus lanes. They are to stage a march through central Athens tomorrow morning. Illegal immigrants Kalymnos coast guards on Monday detained 36 illegal immigrants spotted on the neighboring islet of Pserimos, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. Also on Monday, Kalymnos officials detained 10 immigrants and their suspected smuggler after a truck inspection. Nine more illegal immigrants were held on Lesvos on Monday, and the corpse of a man aged 18-20, found off the nearby islet of Barbalia, is believed to be that of a migrant. Traffic disruption Athens-bound traffic will be disrupted for a stretch of just over a kilometer on Marathonos Avenue near Nea Makri from this morning until Friday evening as work gets under way. The work will be carried out between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Work that began yesterday to remove Olympic lane markings on the marathon route are to continue today and tomorrow between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Decorations A worker yesterday puts the finishing touches to Athens's main Christmas tree in Syntagma Square, which is to be lit up tomorrow at 7.30 p.m. The square will host several prefabricated shops selling sweets, as well as a merry-go-round. A second merry-go-round is to be set up in Kotzia Square. Also, an ice-skating rink will be operating outside Zappeion Hall. There will be no charge for using the rink or merry-go-rounds. Mayor reinstated The mayor of Almyros in Volos, who had been suspended on charges of violation of duty through alleged sexual harassment, was yesterday reinstated following a decision by the Council of State. Spyros Rappos allegedly tried to start a sexual relationship with a woman, identified only as M.V., by promising to find her a job. The meeting, at his home, was secretly video-taped and aired on television. Rappos appealed against his dismissal, claiming the allegations related to his private life. The court upheld his appeal. Drowned fisherman A 27-year-old man who had gone fishing on the Strymonas River drowned when his thigh-high boots filled with water, dragging him to the riverbed, police said yesterday after recovering his body. Police started searching for Antonis Giolas on Monday after his family reported him missing when he failed to return from a fishing trip. Helicopters grounded The air force's fleet of UH-1H special operations helicopters are to be grounded after the US Army issued a statement confirming that similar helicopters belonging to the US Air Force had displayed problems in the mast of the main propellor, the joint chiefs of staff said yesterday. Holocaust Day Deputy Interior Minister Thanassis Nakos yesterday submitted to the Council of State a presidential decree regarding ceremonies to be conducted on January 27 in memory of the tens of thousands of Greek Jews killed in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Parliament approved the date as an official day of remembrance last January.

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