NEWS

In Brief

SMOKING BAN

Restaurants and cafes obliged to segregate smokers from now on Restaurants and cafeteria owners should now be providing special sections for smokers following yesterday’s extension of a ban on smoking in public places. Establishments who neglect to reorganize their premises will not have their licenses renewed, Health Minister Costas Stefanis said last week, although he added that action would not be taken against offenders for a short transitional period (whose duration he did not determine). A ban on smoking in all public areas, including hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, schools and public service buildings came into force in October. NO TAXIS Drivers on 24-hour strike Athens taxi drivers are holding a 24-hour strike from 5 a.m. today, demanding the right to charge higher fares and for access to the capital’s bus lanes. Protesting drivers, who also oppose the planned extension of bus lanes in central Athens, are to stage a protest drive this morning along two new bus lanes set to open on Alexandras Avenue. They are then due to march to Parliament. Taxi drivers across the rest of Attica, who staged a two-day strike last week, are due to join today’s action. Anti-royalist protest Unidentified intruders caused significant damage to the Thessaloniki offices of the Greek Royalist Union, which they broke into on Saturday night. According to police, the assailants used crowbars and hammers to destroy furniture and pictures and wrote slogans on the walls against Greece’s former king, Constantine. Constantine and his family are due 13.7 million euros in compensation for expropriated property from the Greek government, according to last week’s ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. Immigrants A Patras court yesterday handed down a two-year jail sentence on a Ukrainian national after port authorities discovered three Kurdish migrants in his truck on Friday, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Taras Onyskin can pay off his jail term, the ministry said. The same court gave an eight-month jail sentence to Albanian national Konstantin Harito after three migrants were found in his truck, the ministry said. Also yesterday, Chios port authorities detained 10 Afghan illegal immigrants and three Kurds. All 13 had reached the island from neighboring Turkey in inflatable dinghies.