NEWS

In Brief

TAXI STRIKE

Drivers to stage 48-hour action next Wednesday and Thursday Attica taxi drivers are to hold a 48-hour strike next Wednesday and Thursday when taxi owners are to discuss with government officials new draft legislation on the operation of taxis, unionists said yesterday. Unionists object to the majority of planned reforms – including the establishment of taxi companies – which they believe will drive them out of business. They also want access to Athens bus lanes, and oppose the construction of new bus lanes. Further strike action is planned for January 14 or 15. The Transport Ministry granted taxi drivers one of their key demands on Tuesday when it raised taxi fares. The standard rate is now 0.26 euros (up from 0.23 euros) per kilometer. PROFESSIONAL MPS Majority of deputies meet deadline for choosing politics or business A total of 175 of Parliament’s 300 deputies have agreed to give up their jobs in response to a constitutional amendment obliging them to choose between parliamentary duties and business interests by the end of last year, reports said yesterday. The 175 MPs confirmed their resignations in letters to Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis. Draft legislation determining which professional activities will be allowed is to be discussed later this month. ISAP DISRUPTIONS Work on Omonia-Neo Iraklion stretch Commuters using the Athens-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) tomorrow and Sunday will not be able to travel between Omonia and Neo Iraklion stations as works to install a new signaling system will be under way. Passengers will be able to use their tickets on express buses on the 036 route – due to run every 6-12 minutes from 5 a.m. to midnight between Lavriou Square on 3rd September Street and Karaiskaki Square in Neo Iraklion, ISAP said yesterday. The new signaling system is intended to increase efficiency and shorten ISAP journeys. Vintage rally The sixth annual Athens-Piraeus vintage car rally – showcasing a range of pre-1960 models – is to take place on Sunday. The cars will be on public display at Korai Square, in central Piraeus, from 1.30 p.m. Piraeus Mayor Christos Agrapides will later host a reception for the car owners at the Municipal Theater. Migrants detained Lesvos port authorities yesterday detained 10 Iraqi migrants – including an Iraqi man who had lost both his legs to a land mine – and a Turkish national believed to have smuggled them to the eastern Aegean island aboard a sailing boat, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The Turk, who has not been named, is believed to have had an accomplice who fled once the vessel had docked, the ministry said. Karamanlis visit New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis leaves for Istanbul tomorrow ahead of a meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios during Monday’s Epiphany celebrations at the Patriarchate in the Turkish city’s Phanar district. On Monday, Karamanlis is to visit the building of the Orthodox theological seminary on the island of Halki – which the Turkish government closed in 1971. Ioannina transport Ioannina airport reopened yesterday afternoon after heavy fog resulted in its closure earlier in the day. Fog had caused the suspension of all flights to and from the northwestern town on Sunday and Monday. Car travel in the northwestern prefecture of Ioannina and surrounding regions was also hampered yesterday following heavy snowfall. Drivers on the Ioannina-Trikala and the Milia-Grevena roads were obliged to use snow chains. Ferry in trouble The Poseidon Hellas ferry, with 170 passengers on board, was forced to return to the port of Piraeus shortly after setting sail yesterday for Aegina, Methana and Poros, following a sudden engine failure. Nobody was hurt. Hash haul Border guards at the Kakavia crossing into Albania yesterday discovered a sack containing 26 kilos of cannabis abandoned 1 kilometer from the customs house. The drugs had been planted by Albanians for collection by Greek accomplices, police said.