NEWS

In Brief

NO TAXIS

Attica drivers confirm 48-hour strike starts tomorrow Taxi drivers yesterday confirmed that they will go ahead with a 48-hour strike that is due to begin tomorrow at 5 a.m., rebuffing criticism by owners that the action would be illegal. The Panhellenic Federation of Professional Taxi Owners earlier yesterday challenged the objection by the Association of Attica Taxi Drivers (SATA) to new legislation governing the operation of taxis. Owners say that reforms (which include the formation of cooperatives) offer security to taxi owners and provide state funds for the renewal of vehicles. But SATA reiterated that new legislation was a threat to the survival of cabbies. QUAKES One in Athens, two in Ionian Sea A mild earthquake, measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale, was felt in parts of Athens just after 12.30 p.m. on Saturday, but there were no reports of damage or injuries. The quake, which had its epicenter on Mount Parnitha, was one of more than 2,000 aftershocks since the 1999 Athens earthquake, according to Athens seismologist Gerasimos Papadopoulos. Two stronger quakes, measuring 4.5 and 4.6 on the Richter scale, occurred in the Ionian Sea on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. A 5.8-magnitude quake struck the same spot – between the western coast of the Peloponnese and the island of Zakynthos – last month. Tel Aviv bombing The Foreign Ministry, speaking for the Greek presidency of the European Union, yesterday condemned Sunday’s suicide bombings in Tel Aviv that caused the deaths of at least 23 people. «The presidency reiterates the position of the union that the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people cannot be pursued by means of terrorist attacks,» a ministry statement said. «It also expresses the hope that today’s atrocities will not encourage the resurgence of hatred and will not be exploited by extremists.» Greece assumed the rotating presidency on January 1. Theater funds A total of 16.14 million euros in European Union aid will be used to finance the renovation of the neoclassical municipal theater in Piraeus (inaugurated in 1895) which has suffered extensive damage from earthquakes, Prime Minister Costas Simitis promised yesterday.