Second minister brings libel suit against publisher Minister of State Stefanos Manikas yesterday sued Avriani publisher Giorgos Kouris and editor-in-chief Giorgos Tsiroyiannis for libel following the daily’s allegations that he had been involved in questionable practices on the Athens Stock Exchange. The move came a day after Press Minister Christos Protopappas lodged a 1.5-million-euro libel suit against the newspaper following Kouris’s claims that businessman Athanassios Athanassoulis funded Protopappas’s 1996 election campaign. UNIVERSITY UPHEAVAL Professors to decide today on date of 48-hour strike University professors from all over Greece are to meet today to decide when to stage a 48-hour strike – just a couple of weeks before students are to sit end-of-term exams. Professors want higher salaries and bonuses from next year. Similar action disrupted examinations last year. ALBANIAN JOURNALIST Union calls for Kaplani to stay The Athens Journalists’ Union (ESIEA) yesterday protested against a government decision not to renew the residence permit of Albanian journalist Gazi Kaplani, who has been working in Greece since 1991 (and whose contributions include articles in Ta Nea daily). ESIEA asked the Public Order Ministry to make public «its confidential report, according to which (Kaplani) constitutes ‘a threat to public order and safety’… otherwise we are witnessing a case of racism… and persecution on the basis of nationality and religion.» Inflation drops Inflation dropped 0.7 percentage points to 3.4 percent last month from 4.1 percent in March, the National Statistics Service said yesterday. Train hits truck A truck driver was killed yesterday when a train hit his vehicle on a level crossing at Aspropyrgos, on the western outskirts of Athens. Vassileios Mastroyiannopoulos, 45, tried to cross the lowered barriers after one train had already passed – unaware that a second train was directly behind it, traffic police said. The truck struck a motorcyclist after being hit by the train, causing him minor injuries. Traffic disruption Traffic at the junction of Alexandras Avenue and Patission Street and on Mavromataion Street in central Athens will be disrupted from Monday due to works to reorganize underground utilities networks. The works are expected to last three months. Traffic on Akti Kondyli in Piraeus will also be disrupted from Tuesday – until mid-June – to allow for works to resurface the road between Aghiou Dionysiou Square and Akti Kallimasioti St. Health protest State hospitals, the National First Aid Center, and other health services will be operating on emergency staff on Monday and Tuesday as staff stage a 48-hour strike in pursuit of higher salaries, more permanent staff hirings, the payment of outstanding bonuses and the acknowledgement of their jobs as hazardous. Ceiling falls The ceiling of an operating theater in Larissa’s general hospital collapsed during the course of Thursday night, the hospital management said yesterday. The hospital’s director has ordered an inspection of the ceilings of the hospital’s five other operating theaters which were built eight years ago. Olympic stamps Special commemorative books of stamps featuring the mascots for the Athens 2004 Olympics, Phevos and Athena, are now available at post offices across the country (for 14.99 euros each), the Hellenic Postal Service said yesterday. The books of 28 stamps will be on sale until December 2004. Limb at sea A severed human leg has been discovered off Thasos, the island’s Port Authority officials said yesterday. The limb belonged to a person who died at least two weeks ago, according to a coroner. Forged euros Police in Kilkis, northern Greece, were yesterday investigating the existence of a ring trading in forged euros, following the discovery of 60 fake 200-euro notes in the possession of a 47-year-old man.