NEWS

In Brief

TAXI STRIKE

No cabs in Thessaloniki today Extra congestion is expected in Thessaloniki today as taxi-drivers begin a 24-hour strike on the same day as an anticipated onslaught of Christmas shoppers and extended store hours come into effect. The drivers, who are on strike from 5 a.m. until the same time tomorrow, are demanding access to bus lanes and the right to charge higher fares. Migrant death Police are investigating the death on Saturday of an 18-year-old Iraqi illegal immigrant who suffered fatal head injuries while trying to leave a Patras-bound truck in which he had hidden in the hope of reaching Italy. After the timber-loaded truck driven by Petros Pandazis, 28, had passed through ticket control in the port, it suddenly turned round and made for a gas station on the road to Athens. The Iraqi (identified by police as Mahmot Slav) must have thought it was not going to board an Italy-bound ferry after all, and started banging on the side to be let out. Pandazis, who had been apparently unaware of the immigrant’s presence – which, if discovered by port police would have led to his arrest and the confiscation of his truck – opened the door, allegedly hit the Iraqi and drove away. Pandazis, who was detained for questioning, told police the young man had injured himself while jumping out of the truck. KKE offices A homemade explosive device – consisting of four gas canisters tied together – caused substantial damage when it detonated outside the offices of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) in the Triandria area of Thessaloniki early yesterday morning. Tram protest Thousands of Palaio Faliron residents gathered in the southern Athens coastal suburb yesterday for the fourth Sunday in a row, to protest against the ongoing construction of a tramline through their municipality. Protesters, led by newly-elected Palaio Faliron mayor Dionysis Hadzidakis, blockaded both lanes of the coastal Poseidonos Avenue for one hour and threatened to intensify protests if the project is not halted. A prosecutor yesterday last week launched legal proceedings against state Forest Authority officials for allegedly issuing illegal licenses to fell trees in Palaio Faliron to make way for the tram. Car plunge Rescue workers on Saturday retrieved the body of a 66-year-old man from the wreckage of his car which had plunged 150 meters from a cliff into the sea near Monastiraki, in the region of Delphi. It was not clear what caused Andreas Trypsas to drive off the cliff. Bomb hoax A telephone warning on Sunday morning, that an explosive device was due to detonate in a car parked near the entrance to the Athens Geniko Kratiko hospital, turned out to be the third bomb hoax in a week. Police and explosives experts searched the car described in an anonymous call to the Eleftherotypia daily but there was no device. Police said the vehicle had long been abandoned and had not been a concern as there had been no theft appeals. Yesterday’s hoax follows threats last Monday and Sunday that bombs had been planted at Syntagma metro station and a ferry in Piraeus. Ferrari targeted Police in Athens are investigating Friday evening’s attack on the offices of luxury-car manufacturer Ferarri in the northern suburb of Maroussi. The manager of the showroom on Kifissias Avenue told police that he had heard two gunshots which shattered the store windows.