NEWS

In Brief

GARBAGE STRIKE

Rubbish piling up on Athens streets as action enters second day Garbage is set to pile up on Athens streets this weekend as street cleaners and garbage collectors continue a three-day strike launched yesterday. Negotiations between unionists and senior Interior Minister officials continued yesterday after the latter agreed to raise workers’ monthly wages by 29.3 euros – instead of the 49.8 euros sought – but refused another demand to include workers’ travel expenses in basic salaries. Unionists are to decide today whether to extend their action with rolling 48-hour strikes from Monday. SIMITIS, STEPHANOPOULOS PM briefs President on Cyprus, Iraq, EU presidency priorities A meeting between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and President Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday focused on Cyprus, Iraq and Greece’s priorities as European Union president, Simitis said. A Franco-German proposal for an overhaul of the power structure within the EU is a more pressing issue than it may seem and one which Greece should analyze carefully ahead of the EU’s March and June summits in Brussels and Thessaloniki, respectively, Simitis said. The PM will discuss EU reform and Iraq with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, due in Athens today. ILEIA QUAKE Third tremor in a day ‘not unusual’ A 4.2-magnitude earthquake early yesterday morning, the third tremor to strike the port of Kyllini in the western Peloponnesian Ileia prefecture in 24 hours, is «not unusual» and no cause for alarm, seismologists said. No injuries or damage were reported. Two earthquakes, measuring 4.5 and 4.4 on the Richter scale, rocked Kyllini on Thursday. Still falling The Athens Stock Exchange struck a five-year low yesterday, with the general share index plunging 2.15 percent to close at 1,689.59 points. Phones Mobile phone numbers will change on Sunday, when the initial 0 will be replaced with a 6. The way of dialing Greek mobiles from abroad will also change with the addition of a 6 after the country code 30. Traffic disruption Traffic at the Kiffisou Avenue and Pireos Street junction will be suspended from 4 p.m. today until the same time tomorrow for the completion of road links to temporary metal bridges set up over the flood-prone Kifissos River. The bridges will be open to traffic from 4 p.m. on Sunday. The demolition of the old Pireos bridge is due to begin on Monday. Patras carnival Thousands of musicians, performers and revelers are expected to descend on Patras’s Georgiou Square this evening for the opening of the city’s annual carnival. N17 trial Former Public Order Minister Giorgos Petsos is to represent in court the family of shipowner Costis Peratikos, who was murdered by the November 17 terrorist group in 1997, according to a statement by the family yesterday. Petsos, who was a friend of Peratikos, was the target of an N17 assassination attempt in 1989. He is to represent Peratikos’s family with lawyer Eliza Vozenberg. Lost Marbles Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos yesterday thanked Plaka resident Anna Sidiropoulou for gathering the signatures of 27,000 foreign visitors to Athens over the past five years on a petition for the return to Greece of the British Museum’s Elgin Collection of Marbles from the Parthenon. Peace rally A rally in protest against a war in Iraq will be held at Syntagma Square in central Athens on February 15, organizers said yesterday. Composer Mikis Theodorakis and his orchestra are to perform at the rally scheduled to start at 12 noon. Evros recedes Authorities in Thrace yesterday declared an end to a state of emergency provoked by a dangerous rise in the water level of the Evros River earlier this week. Heavy rainfall caused water levels to rise to 15 centimeters from the point of overflow above the earthen dikes lining the river.