In Brief

Strike action

Flight disruptions till 3 p.m. and all-day hospital walkout A three-hour work stoppage by air-traffic controllers today, due to coincide with protest action by the civil servants' union (ADEDY), will lead to the cancellation of flights scheduled to land at or take off from Athens International Airport between noon and 3 p.m. Civil servants are due to stage a protest rally in central Athens at noon. Meanwhile, hospitals will be operating on skeleton staff today as staff stage a 24-hour strike. Taxi bonus Fares increase by a euro Taxi fares increased by 1 euro yesterday after cabbies added the annual Christmas bonus to their fee. As a result, the minimum charge for a cab journey is now 3.80 euros. The surcharge will apply through January 6. Salonica blast A homemade explosive device, planted outside a branch of Eurobank in the Thessaloniki district of Kalamaria early yesterday by unidentified assailants, damaged the building's facade when it detonated. A similar device smashed the windows of a local Citizens' Information and Service Center (KEP). In Athens, a telephone call warning that a homemade bomb had been planted in a trash can in the upmarket neighborhood of Kolonaki turned out to be a hoax. Toxic pigs A total of 155 live pigs imported to Greece from Ireland were quarantined yesterday after tests showed that they are tainted with dioxins. The Agricultural Development and Food Ministry called for a quarantine on the animals, which had been sent to various farms in the Peloponnese and central Greece. Producers on the four different farms have been given instructions as to how the animals should be disposed of. Robbers caught Police yesterday were seeking the perpetrators of a robbery on a Piraeus Bank branch in the Attica coastal suburb of Loutsa. The pair fled with an undetermined sum. It is thought that the pair might be behind a string of six robberies on various bank branches in different parts of Attica, chiefly along the southern coastline. Health scare Athens Prefect Yiannis Sgouros yesterday ordered a prosecutor to investigate the possible public health risk posed by an apartment in the heart of the city center that reportedly has burst sewage pipes and is infested with rodents. Sgouros has complained in recent months about conditions in the historic center, where thousands of illegal immigrants live in derelict apartment blocks and cheap hotels. Store raid A group of self-styled anarchists stormed a supermarket in the Thessaloniki district of Stavroupoli yesterday, filling shopping carts with food before charging past the checkouts and distributing the booty to passers-by. Before making their getaway, the youths scattered leaflets with slogans condemning the rising cost of living.