In Brief


Civil servants to walk off job, causing travel problems A 24-hour strike today by the civil servants' union ADEDY will result in dozens of flights being canceled. Olympic Airlines said yesterday that more than 100 domestic and international flights will be affected, while Aegean Airlines said it was canceling 48 flights and rescheduling dozens more. The strike will not affect public transport but will close most schools and result in state hospitals running on skeleton staff. Protesting workers are seeking salary increases and better benefits. ATHENS VISIT Top US official due here for talks US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg will be the first member of President Barack Obama's administration to have a meeting with Greek officials in Greece, sources said yesterday. Steinberg will be in Athens for a meeting of the international invitation-only club, the Bilderberg Group, which begins today and runs until Saturday. Sources said that Steinberg is due to meet with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. Steinberg is to pay a visit to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia immediately after his trip to Athens. Antiquities probe The former head of the fire service and the Civil Protection Authority, Panayiotis Fourlas, was yesterday being sought on suspicion of illegally possessing antiquities. Police launched a search for Fourlas, who retired two years ago, after stone items, which are believed to be relics, were found at his family home in Fthiotida, central Greece. Sources said the investigation began after someone tipped off the Culture Ministry's archaeological service. Experts inspected the former fire chief's home on Monday. As of last night, Fourlas's whereabouts were not known. Dispute judgment A Piraeus-based lawyer whose parents are Pakistani has filed an appeal with the Council of State against a Defense Ministry decision to prevent him from being a military judge in the Hellenic Army. Sources said yesterday that the lawyer, who has Greek nationality, claims that the ministry's decision is unconstitutional and goes against employment regulations. He has asked the country's highest administrative court to reverse the decision. Bilderberg Group The Bilderberg Group, an elite international group of politicians and other individuals of influence that convenes once a year, is to meet in Athens from today until Saturday. Guests invited to this year's gathering, which usually comprises 130 influential figures from around the world, include Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. It is unclear which foreign visitors are expected but security measures are expected to be tight. Free laptops A total of 120,000 primary school students are to benefit from a scheme involving the distribution of coupons for the procurement of laptop computers, Economy Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said yesterday. The laptop scheme forms part of the government's «digital policy,» which will see all pupils receiving their textbooks in electronic form in the new academic year, Papathanassiou said.