NEWS

In Brief

MUSEUM STRIKE OFF

Guards call off three-day action after government assurances The national union representing antiquities guards yesterday called off a planned three-day strike that would have closed hundreds of museums and archaeological sites across the country from today. This followed Culture Ministry assurances that protesters’ demands will be addressed, unionists said yesterday. Workers want the recruitment of extra staff, more money for night and holiday shifts and the payment of outstanding bonuses. POWER CUT Plans for high-voltage station on Mount Hymettus modified Controversial plans to build a power distribution substation with high-voltage lines on forestland on the southeastern fringes of Athens for the needs of the 2004 Olympics have been significantly modified, Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos told Parliament yesterday. Instead of the planned 400,000-volt station in Argyroupolis, on the slopes of Mt Hymettus, a smaller substation will be built to operate on 150,000 volts via underground and overground cables from a power plant in Lavrion, Tsochadzopoulos said. Existing electricity pylons near residential areas will be removed and trees will be planted in their place, he added. Residents of Argyroupolis and Ilioupolis have volubly protested at the health risks allegedly posed by the project. HEALTH STRIKE Four days of action from Tuesday State health services will be paralyzed by a series of daily strikes starting on Tuesday. National First Aid Center (EKAB) workers resume their protest action with two four-hour work stoppages, from 9 a.m. next Tuesday and Wednesday, and a 24-hour strike on Thursday. And Social Security Foundation (IKA) doctors are planning 24-hour strikes for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and will participate in a civil servants’ strike on Friday. Earthquakes An earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale occurred at Psachna, 13 kilometers north of Halkida, yesterday evening but no injuries or damage were reported. The quake was felt in Athens. Earlier yesterday, just before 3 a.m., an undersea quake, measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale, occurred near Patras. Again, no injuries or damage were reported. Poseidonos Avenue Traffic on Poseidonos Avenue, in southern Athens, will be restricted to two lanes in both directions on Tuesday due to roadworks. The restrictions, at the Aghios Cosmas junction, will apply from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Gypsies rebuffed Athens yesterday refused a request to grant shelter to hundreds of Kosovo gypsies who have been camping at the Medzitlija border crossing between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for nearly a month. «They will not be allowed onto Greek soil,» Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis said, adding that authorities in Kosovo and FYROM should cooperate so the refugees can return home. The gypsies fled to FYROM from Kosovo following NATO strikes on the Serbian province in 1999, and do not want to go home for fear of attacks by Albanians – who regard them as Serb collaborators. Tourist information The Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) new central Athens offices, which include the tourist information office, on Tsoha Street in Ambelokipi, were inaugurated yesterday. The old headquarters were on central Amerikis Street. Elevator death Cypriot student Stylianos Zambas, 33, was crushed to death in an elevator yesterday when a new refrigerator he was trying to take up to his apartment got stuck in the shaft.