NEWS

In Brief

TAXI STRIKE

Cabbies appear set for a 48-hour stoppage next week Taxi drivers are expected to go on strike again next week but this time they will stage a 48-hour stoppage on Tuesday and Wednesday, it emerged yesterday. Their union is opposed to government plans to make cabbies issue receipts, keep account books and pay tax according to their income. Under the current system, drivers pay just over 1,200 euros in tax each year, regardless of what they earn. Cabbies have already staged two 24-hour strikes this month and say they will keep protesting until the government changes its mind. BODY IN THE PARK Man, 38, guilty of killing wife A 38-year-old music teacher was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for murdering his wife in September 2008 and burying her in a park in the northern Athens suburb of Filothei. The court did not recognize any mitigating factors presented by the defendant's lawyer, including the music teacher's claim that he had been provoked into killing his wife after she lunged at him with a knife. Trash protest Landfills and waste processing centers around the country will shut down on March 6 and 7 as workers protest pay and conditions, it was decided yesterday. The Federation of Municipal Workers' Associations (POE-OTA) also said yesterday that its members would strike on Wednesday and hold a rally in front of the Finance Ministry. VAT scam An accountant, his nephew and two tax officials from Thessaloniki received jail sentences yesterday for their part in a scam involving bogus companies and invoices that led to the government unnecessarily paying out some 60 million euros in value-added tax refunds. Accountant Nikos Kassimatis, 57, was given an eight-year sentence and his nephew received a nine-year term for acting as a mediator between his uncle and two tax officials who were each sentenced to 15 years in jail. So far eight tax inspectors have been convicted in connection with the scam. Ten other people have also been sentenced but the accountant alleged to be the mastermind remains at large. PAO halted Euroleague basketball champion Panathinaikos will not have a chance to defend its title at this year's Final Four after losing 70-67 to Barcelona in Athens on Thursday night, which ended the Greens' hopes of qualifying for the tournament's playoffs. Maroussi, also in Group F, lost 79-76 to Partizan Belgrade but still has a chance of qualifying if it can win its two remaining games. ISAP disruption Services on the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) will be suspended between Irini and Kifissia stations over the weekend as engineering works on the line continue. A replacement bus service (X5) will be operating for commuters. Trains bound for Kifissia will not be stopping at Aghios Nikolaos and Kato Patissia stations. 'Swindling' sergeant An army sergeant faces disciplinary action after allegedly misappropriating 90,000 euros in benefits that should have gone to officers based on the Aegean island of Rhodes. According to army sources, the alleged swindle was uncovered after the officers complained that they had not received their bonuses.

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