NEWS

In Brief

YOTOPOULOS

Alleged mastermind of N17 to finally testify tomorrow after 2nd suspension Alleged November 17 mastermind Alexandros Yotopoulos is to testify tomorrow following the suspension of the trial of 19 N17 suspects at Korydallos Prison yesterday after the brother of one of the judges died suddenly resulting in his having to abandon the proceedings. Yotopoulos’s testimony, which he had begun on Monday, was initially postponed after he clashed with the two prosecutors. The 59-year-old Paris-born translator denies any involvement in N17 and claims he is the victim of a setup by American and British agents. FLIGHT DISRUPTIONS OA passengers may face problems tomorrow as staff stage 24-hour strike Olympic Airways’ flights are likely to be disrupted tomorrow after the Federation of Civil Aviation Unions (OSPA) called for a 24-hour strike on the day that a reform to reshape the national carrier – whose new streamlined form will be named Olympic Airlines – is expected to be approved in Parliament. Unionists are complaining that the bill does not include government promises regarding new jobs with Olympic Airlines and old jobs with the old carrier. OA’s management is to take legal action against tomorrow’s action. POWER CUTS Electricity out in southern Athens Brief but frequent power cuts affected many parts of southern Athens yesterday evening, including Piraeus, Moschato, Faliron, Glyfada and Vari. The interruptions in electricity supply – which peaked between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. – resulted from a saturation of the network which the Public Power Corporation attributed to a vulnerable distribution system. Residents of southern Attica have been campaigning for the creation of a new distribution system in Nikaia. Water prices The sale of bottled water and soft drinks at prices above the «suggested price» printed on the product’s packaging will be banned as of tomorrow, according to a decision by the Development Ministry made public yesterday, which prohibits overpricing at airports, soccer grounds, archaeological sites, on ferries and trains, at railway stations, cinemas, theaters, hospitals and clinics. Violators will face penalties, the ministry said yesterday. Professors’ action Professors at universities and technical colleges are to embark on protest action as of the middle of this month against the government’s failure to make good on its promises to raise their pay. Unionists are to meet today to confirm when strike action will begin and how long it will continue. Police protest The Greek police officers’ union said yesterday its members would demonstrate in central Thessaloniki on Friday, during the launch of the international trade fair, after talks with Public Order Minister Giorgos Floridis collapsed. Protesters want their jobs to be acknowledged as dangerous, as well as a reduction in the number of years they have to work before qualifying for retirement. But Floridis refused to meet unionists’ demands, offering instead a 60-euro monthly bonus and a five-year «credit» toward pension qualification for those recruited between 1984 and 1992. Cretan quakes Three undersea quakes, one measuring 4.3, and two of 3 on the Richter scale, occurred off the Cretan port of Iraklion between Monday night and yesterday morning. No damage or injuries were reported. Water problems Residents of the northwestern town of Ioannina were yesterday stocking up on bottled water following the discovery of increased bacterial levels in the local water supply. Municipal authorities and water board officials came under fire after it was revealed that the increased presence of bacteria had been spotted over two weeks ago. Ioannina’s mayor blamed drilling at sources which supply the town and said chlorination of the water supply would begin today. Soldier death A 23-year-old professional soldier on a five-year contract was killed yesterday during a military exercise in Mesolofos, in the northern prefecture of Evros, when a hand grenade exploded close by to him, army sources said yesterday. The exact cause of the accident which resulted in the death of Sergeant Stefanos Fakakis was unclear.