NEWS

In Brief

GAZA ATTACK

Ministry condemns Israeli army’s ‘indiscriminate use of force’ The Foreign Ministry, speaking on behalf of Greece’s European Union presidency, condemned the Israeli army killing of 11 Palestinians in Gaza yesterday, noting that «the indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli Defense Forces… only fuels the vicious cycle of violence.» A ministry statement added: «Whilst recognizing Israel’s right to ensure security for its citizens, the EU presidency calls on the Israeli authorities to do everything in their power to prevent further deaths of civilians. Terrorist acts and violence are not an alternative to the peace progress.» IRAQ FM to observe Security Council session and meet counterparts, Amr Moussa Foreign Minister George Papandreou was yesterday due to fly to New York where he is to attend United Nations Security Council talks on Iraq. Papandreou is due to meet with his French, German, Spanish and Russian counterparts as well as Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa during his visit to discuss ways of averting a war. The Foreign Ministry yesterday advised Greek citizens planning to travel to Iraq to postpone their trips for the time being. ATHENS TRAINS Strikes trimmed Commuters using the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) will face disruptions between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. today as train drivers stage a work stoppage. But two 24-hour strikes, planned for today and next Friday were called off yesterday after a Piraeus court deemed them illegal. Taxi strike There will be no taxis on the streets of Athens next Friday as Attica cabbies hold a 24-hour strike from 6 a.m., unionists said yesterday. Protesters, who want access to bus lanes and object to recent reforms toughening penalties for professional misconduct, have said they will block roads and occupy bus lanes. Immigration Greek coast guard and police officials today complete a four-day pilot program of border patrols in the Mediterranean in cooperation with their Italian French and Spanish counterparts and with Interpol, aimed at cracking down on the smuggling of people and drugs by sea. The chief aim of the Triton program, coordinated by the Merchant Marine Ministry, is to curb the cross-border trafficking of illegal immigrants which is expected to increase considerably in the event of a US-led war against Iraq. Port Authority officials across the country have detained a total of 47 illegal immigrants over the past two days, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. Bicycle lanes A total of 11.8 million euros in government funding is to go toward the construction of bicycle lanes in various Greek towns, Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis said yesterday. He did not specify where the lanes would be built. Guard suicide A 26-year-old border guard yesterday shot himself in the head with his service pistol in his home in the northwestern town of Ioannina, police said. Theodoros Grammozis did not leave a note explaining the reasons for his suicide.