NEWS

In Brief

TAXI STRIKE

No Athens cab service from 5 a.m. tomorrow until same time on Friday There will be no taxis on the streets of Athens from 5 a.m. tomorrow until 5 a.m. on Friday as drivers join in a 48-hour strike, the Association of Attica Taxi Drivers (SATA) decided yesterday. Strikers oppose a government decision, due to come into force in January 2004, which obliges them to install cash registers in their vehicles. They also want the right to charge higher fares and access to Athens bus lanes. Unionists have threatened a four-day strike from September 22 if their demands remain unmet. RELIGIOUS TURF WAR Gov’t will not intervene, spokesman says in response to patriarch’s letter The government «does not intend to intervene» in a dispute between Archbishop Christodoulos and Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios over which of the churches has jurisdiction over territories that became part of Greece nearly a century ago, government spokesman Christos Protopappas said yesterday. The Patriarch has written to Prime Minister Costas Simitis, asking him to mediate in the affair. Protopappas said Simitis had not yet received the letter. MOBILITY WEEK Free travel on public transport today Travel on all forms of public transport today will be free of charge to mark the launch of European Mobility Week, the Transport Ministry announced yesterday. This year’s initiative focuses on promoting the use of cleaner forms of transport, the use of the bicycle in particular, and increasing accessibility for the disabled. Rio-Antirio strike Employees on ferries on the Rio-Antirio crossing are today to continue with daily work stoppages between 8-11 a.m. and 5-8 p.m., which started yesterday. Unionists are to meet Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Paschalidis today. FM in US Foreign Minister George Papandreou was due in Washington yesterday for a two-day visit during which he is to discuss Cyprus and Olympic security with Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and the State Department’s special coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Weston. Teachers protest Cramming-school teachers are to stage a rally outside the Education Ministry at 11 a.m. tomorrow, demanding higher salaries and better working conditions. Embezzlement The former manager of a branch of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) in Thessaloniki’s Foinikas district has been charged with embezzling around 445,000 euros OTE, police said yesterday. Christos Mallios, 60, allegedly collected cash from customers whose bills had expired and pocketed it. Neo-Nazi threat A group of neo-Nazis arrested in Munich last week for allegedly plotting to bomb Jewish and Muslim targets in Germany had also been planning to strike a Greek school, according to German media reports quoted by Agence France-Presse yesterday. Sting death A 33-year-old farmer from Leipsoi, in the Dodecanese, died after suffering an allergic reaction to a wasp sting yesterday. Nikolaos Ergos had been working in a greenhouse when the wasp stung him on the head, causing massive swelling. Police crash Two policemen died when their patrol car veered off the Athens-Corinth highway, near Megara, shortly after 2 a.m. yesterday, and crashed into a lamppost. The victims were identified as Philippos Kontoyiannidis and Alexandros Vanakas. Police believe they were speeding. Balcony fall A 24-year-old man who tried to help a friend gain access yesterday to her locked Thessaloniki apartment by climbing onto its balcony from the next-door apartment, slipped and fell three floors to his death. Breakdown aid Members of the Automobile and Touring Club of Greece (ELPA) should henceforth call 10400 (instead of 104) in the event of a breakdown, ELPA said yesterday.