NEWS

In Brief

KOSOVO GYPSIES

Dozens of refugees awaiting asylum try to storm into Greece Dozens of Kosovo Gypsy refugees, from a group of around 700 who have been camping at the Medzitlija border crossing between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia since the middle of May in the hope of gaining political asylum, yesterday tried to force their way across the border but were stopped by FYROM police. The refugees came to the border town in May after being evicted from their encampment in the Suta Orizari area on the outskirts of Skopje and being ordered back to Kosovo. The refugees claim to be in danger from Albanian nationalists in Kosovo. CIVIL AVIATION Staff call a three-day strike over alleged salary inequalities Civil Aviation Authority (YPA) staff yesterday announced a three-day strike from next Wednesday, which could cause flight disruptions, in protest at what they call the government’s «preferential treatment» of air-traffic controllers. A series of strikes due to begin on July 7 was canceled after an Athens court deemed the planned action illegal. Unionists have asked the government to even out allegedly stark differences between the pay of air-traffic controllers and other YPA staff. TEMPE WORKS Road dividers ‘to go up soon’ Work to erect dividing barriers along two stretches of the national road network between Thessaloniki and Larissa – a total of 32.5 kilometers (20 miles) of road including the Vale of Tempe where an accident in April caused the deaths of 21 schoolchildren – is to begin soon, Deputy Public Works Minister Yiannis Tsaklidis told Pieria prefectural authorities yesterday. The accident at Tempe occurred when a load of wood panels on a truck came loose and sliced into an oncoming bus. Lost child A 2-year-old girl died yesterday after falling into the vent leading to the cesspool of her home in Lefkimi on Corfu. Irini Makantaki, who was being looked after by her grandmother while her parents were at work, was initially believed to have been kidnapped until her body was found in the dark vent in the yard. Kifissos Piraeus-bound traffic on Kiffisos Avenue will be disrupted from today until August 8 as work gets under way to construct two bridges. The section of Kifissos Avenue between Pericleous and Pireos streets will be shut off. Diversions will be signposted. Fishermen protest Professional fishermen in the Amvrakikos Gulf on Greece’s east coast yesterday gathered at the northwestern port of Preveza in their boats to protest the threat posed by illegal fishing to their livelihoods and to sea life. Illegal fishermen are draining the sea with dragnets, causing the fish population to drop by 55 percent every year, according to protesters who maintain that the jobs of 3,000 local fishermen are at risk. They want the government to prosecute illegal fishing, noting that fines are rarely imposed. Air quality Ozone levels in Attica are currently high but far below emergency levels, the Environment Ministry’s air quality department said yesterday. Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has warned citizens with breathing difficulties, heart problems and sensitivity to air pollution to try to stay indoors when temperatures are particularly high and to avoid excessive physical exertion. British remains The central town of Nea Ionia, near Volos, is threatening to destroy the remains of 16 British servicemen buried at a local cemetery since 1929 unless Britain pays almost 50,000 euros for their exhumation and reburial elsewhere by the end of August, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday. Nea Ionia’s municipal council wants to transform the cemetery into a park, AFP said. Double murder Police in northern Greece yesterday identified the person who killed two Albanian nationals in Hariessa, Imathia prefecture, last Saturday as Dimitris Angelidis, 25. Angelidis told police he grabbed a gun from one of the Albanians during a scuffle before shooting the two. The gun has not been found. The bodies of Giorgio Besek Pepa, 18, and an unidentified man were found near a country church in Zoodochou Pigis. Police believe this was a drug deal gone bad.