STRIKE AT MUSEUMS, SITES TOMORROW
Travel agents attack government, guards over planned action Greek travel agents yesterday criticized the government for taking no action to prevent the 24-hour strikes by Culture Ministry guards – who want better pay – tomorrow and on Monday that will close down all the country’s archaeological sites and state museums. The Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA) said the strike would severely affect the tourism industry at a time it was trying to recover from a dip caused by the invasion of Iraq, and accused the Culture Ministry of having doubled entry charges at museums and sites over the past few years without improving infrastructure and guards’ pay. On Sunday, May 4, entrance to all the country’s state museums will be free of charge as part of an annual European initiative. POST-DIVORCE PENSIONS Draft law to grant divorcees up to 70 pct of spouse’s pension Divorced people will be able to claim between 30 and 70 percent of their former spouse’s pension under draft legislation expected to be tabled in Parliament after Easter. The law will apply to people aged over 65 who were married for at least 15 years and whose annual taxable income is no more than 7,397 euros. DRUG ARRESTS Greek-Bulgarian gang broken Police in Thessaloniki yesterday arrested five people for participation in a Greek-Bulgarian drug-smuggling ring allegedly run by Bulgarian national Basil Manikatov, who has evaded arrest. The names of the two Bulgarian and three Greek nationals detained following a sting operation were not made public. Former king Former King Constantine of Greece yesterday visited the monastery of Tsouka, in the area of the northwestern town of Ioannina, on the second day of a weeklong Easter visit to Greece. London-based Constantine and members of the former royal family received communion from Theoklitos, Bishop of Ioannina. It was the former king’s second visit to Greece this year, and only the fourth since his flight from the country in 1967. Illegal immigrants Coast guard officers in southern Evia yesterday arrested 24 illegal immigrants – 20 Pakistanis and four Palestinians – found on the coast near Cape Kafireas early in the morning. Later yesterday, police arrested two Greeks and one Iraqi suspected of ferrying the group over from Turkey. Vrilissia riot Four people were arrested yesterday during a protest by some 200 people in the northern Athens suburb of Vrilissia against government plans to build a power substation on a former military base that municipal authorities want made into a park. Processions Traffic will be banned from the streets surrounding Athens Cathedral from 7 p.m. tonight to allow the Good Friday religious procession mourning the death of Christ. The ban will affect Mitropoleos Street, Syntagma Square, Filellinon and parts of Amalias and Stadiou streets. Similar restrictions will briefly affect streets surrounding churches all over Greece this evening. Athens transport Athens public buses will run until 11 p.m. tomorrow, to allow drivers to celebrate the resurrection with their families, the bus company said yesterday. On May Day, bus services will operate between 7.30 a.m. and 10 p.m. On the Kifissia-to-Piraeus Athens electric railway tomorrow, the last trains for Kifissia and Omonia will leave Piraeus at 10.15 p.m. and 11 p.m., respectively. From Kifissia, the last train to Omonia will be at 11.05 p.m., and the last trains from Omonia to Kifissia and Piraeus, respectively, will be at 10.30 p.m. and 11.15 p.m.