NEWS

In Brief

VAT CHANGE

Cost of taxis and road tolls to increase from today The change in value-added tax, which will apply as of today, means that the cost of road tolls and cab fares will increase. Taxi charges will include 11 percent VAT, meaning that the flag charge will now rise to 1.16 euros, while the minimum fare will be 3.10 euros. Calling a radio cab will cost 1.88 euros. As of today, cabbies will also have to issue receipts to all their clients. The VAT rise will also see toll charges on the Attiki Odos ring road rise from 2.70 euros to 2.80 for cars. There will be similar rises of between 5 and 10 cents at tolls on national roads. AEGEAN TENSION Athens queries Turk ship's role The Foreign Ministry yesterday asked Turkish government officials to explain the «intentions» of a Turkish naval research ship in the northern Aegean. A ministry statement issued yesterday noted that the Cesme hydrographic and oceanographic vessel had been spotted southeast of Samothrace, a few kilometers off the coast of Thrace. According to the statement, the ship had been within Greece's continental shelf area, the stretch of seabed where Athens claims the rights for exploration and exploitation of potential mineral and fossil fuel deposits. Officers suspended Two policemen serving at the Neos Cosmos precinct in Athens have been suspended from duty after three suspects escaped from custody while they were on guard. The police said that the officers failed to stop the three suspects from breaking open the door to their cell and then climbing down from the balcony. The policemen managed to stop a fourth man from escaping. They have been charged with neglect. Online government A program that aims to increase government transparency by ensuring that all administrative decisions are posted on the Internet was voted through Parliament yesterday. «This is a deep change that brings a new attitude to the way that the state functions,» said Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis. «Every last euro that is spent will be open to scrutiny.» The program is known as Diavgeia (Clarity). No scans The Panarkadiko Hospital in Tripoli, in the Peloponnese, was left without a functioning CAT scan machine yesterday after the company that provided it removed the equipment's software due to outstanding debts. The firm is owed a reported 1.3 million euros by the hospital. Hospital officials said they do not have the funds to settle the debt and that they have asked the Health Ministry to help out. Fatal crash Aviation experts yesterday were investigating the causes of a glider crash near Aigio in the prefecture of Achaia on Tuesday night that led to the death of the 50-year-old pilot and his 17-year-old trainee pilot. The aircraft plunged into a citrus orchard in the area of Krokova at around 9 p.m. as the last of the daylight was fading. The pilot was the head of the Aigio flying club and an experienced flier and had just started giving the 17-year-old schoolboy flying lessons.

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