NEWS

In Brief

MAY DAY

Workers stage 24-hour strike, bus drivers hold work stoppages Workers across Greece are to participate in a 24-hour strike tomorrow and join May Day demonstrations expressing their anti-war stance alongside demands for a 35-hour work week. The main rally in Athens – organized by the General Confederation of Greek Labor, the Civil Servants’ Union and the Athens Labor Center – starts at 10.30 a.m. in Syntagma Square. The Communist Party-backed Workers’ Militant Front (PAME) will hold a rally at Pedion Tou Areos at 10.30 a.m. Similar rallies will start in Thessaloniki and other major cities. Staff on Athens buses are to stage two work stoppages (5.30 a.m. – 7.30 a.m. and 10 p.m. – 11.30 p.m.). RAIL DEATHS Police investigate fatal incident on Athens railway Police were yesterday seeking to determine whether the driver of an Athens-Halkida train was responsible for the deaths of two men he ran over at a crossing in the western Athenian suburb of Aghioi Anargyroi early that morning. The train driver said he had seen the men, believed to be Pakistanis, lying on the tracks before he braked and sounded the whistle to alert them but that they had not moved. Police say the men may already have been dead. MESSINIA QUAKE 5.1 tremor hits sensitive area A strong earthquake, measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, shook the quake-prone prefecture of Messinia in the southern Peloponnese just before 5 a.m. yesterday but did not cause any major damage or injuries, seismologists in Athens and Thessaloniki said yesterday. (Experts in Patras set the quake at 5.2 Richter.) The epicenter of the quake was near the town of Messini. Messinia has been struck by five strong earthquakes in less than three years. Coach fares Fares for intercity coach trips are to increase by 4.8 percent from tomorrow, according to a decision by the Ministry of Transport made public yesterday. Coach owners had asked for a much higher increase. Constantine leaves Former king Constantine, his wife Anna Maria and his son Nikolaos yesterday left Thessaloniki for London following a week’s Easter holiday in the northwestern city of Ioannina. The ex-king said he would return to Greece soon but not on his name day, May 21, as media reports had claimed. Double shooting A 38-year-old farmer killed himself early yesterday after shooting his long-time partner in the head on a country road outside the village of Armeni near Siteia, western Crete. Giorgos Zacharioudakis shot Anna Parthenaki, 35, in the mouth and then turned the gun on himself after the couple argued following an early morning drive in their car, police said. Koizumi visits Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is due to arrive in Athens tomorrow for talks with Foreign Ministry officials. Iran-EU ties Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis and Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Ahani yesterday discussed relations between Iran and the European Union. The agenda of the 10th ministerial troika meeting, which was closed to the media, covered bilateral relations, investment and energy, as well as postwar Iraq and the Middle East. Eco-protest Members of the «Action: Thessaloniki 2003» group are to stage a demonstration outside the Athens University gates at noon on Saturday in protest against EU environmental policies. The group will then march to the US Embassy via the European Commission’s offices. EU environment ministers are meeting in Lagonissi, south of Athens, on Friday and Saturday for a two-day informal conference.