NEWS

In Brief

PAY INCREASE

Salaries, pensions to rise as result of increase in tax-exempt ceiling Salaried employees and pensioners earning a net income over 650 euros per month (or 950 if they have three or more children) will see their pay packages increase somewhat from the beginning of next year, as a result of tax reforms this summer, which raised the tax-exempt income ceiling. A typical increase for an unmarried person will be 16.71 euros per month, and up to 147.29 euros for parents of three or more children. RED CROSS President, top officials to stand trial for embezzlement The president of the Greek Red Cross, Andreas Martinis, and 24 board members, along with another nine people, will be tried for embezzlement and corruption, following a decision by the Council of Appeals Court Judges yesterday. The charges concern the construction of the Henri Dunant Hospital, and the payment of some 600 million drachmas (1.8 million euros) to a consultancy firm. N17 Karoutsos stays on investigation A bid by three detained November 17 terrorism suspects to have the prosecutor heading the investigation into the leftist group, Kyriakos Karoutsos, removed from the case was rejected yesterday by the Council of Appeals Court Judges. Pavlos Serifis, Iraklis Costaris and Constantinos Karatsolis claimed the appeals court prosecutor was biased, as several years ago he had drawn up and forwarded to a Supreme Court prosecutor a report on N17 which proved to be inaccurate. Lawyers representing the three suspects say they will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Strike off Tax employees yesterday called off a strike planned for December 27, 30 and 31, after the Finance Ministry complied with union demands regarding personnel postings. Escapee caught Police in Peristeri, western Athens, arrested escaped murderer Haralambos Poulopoulos, 31, during a routine check yesterday. Poulopoulos, who was found to be carrying a handgun, a hood and a pair of gloves, had failed to return to the Malandrino Prison in central Greece after a furlough in July. He is suspected of having staged a 22,000-euro armed bank robbery in Peristeri on December 9. A man who was with him escaped. Immigrants Coast guard patrols in the eastern Aegean yesterday arrested 10 illegal immigrants from Iran and Afghanistan at Milingas on Chios, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday, adding that another 32 immigrants of various nationalities were arrested on the islet of Farmakonisi late on Sunday. All 42 had made the crossing from Turkey. Potato riot Cyprus Airlines lost 300,000 Cyprus pounds (525,000 euros) as a result of Saturday’s sit-in by a group of potato farmers on the runway of Larnaca Airport, company General Manager Haris Loizidis said yesterday. Loizidis complained to President Glafcos Clerides about the incident, which delayed the flights of some 2,000 passengers and nearly led to a fight between farmers – who were seeking state compensation for destroyed crops – and irate travelers. Cyprus Airlines is considering seeking state compensation for losses incurred by the protest. Cigarette smugglers A North Korean-flagged truck carrier boarded by coast guard for an inspection yesterday off the island of Kythnos in the Cyclades was found to be carrying 3,577 boxes of contraband cigarettes. The six Ukrainian seamen aboard the Nina II, which had sailed from Burgas in Bulgaria for Montenegro, were arrested and will be charged with smuggling. The vessel was impounded.