NEWS

In Brief

TAXI DRIVERS

Strike to continue until 5 a.m. Friday after negotiations fail to break impasse A four-day strike launched by taxi drivers in Athens and Piraeus on Monday will continue until Friday morning as scheduled after yesterday’s meeting between unionists and senior government officials failed to yield a compromise. Protesters will stage a rally outside the offices of the Association of Attica Taxi Drivers on Marnis Street today before marching to Syntagma Square, unionists said yesterday, adding that taxi drivers in Patras and Larissa would join today’s strike action. Protesters object to a government decision to install cash registers in their cabs. They also want access to bus lanes and higher fares. GARBAGE STRIKE Street cleaners to abandon duties on October 6, 16, 17, unionists warn Unionists representing the countries garbage collectors and other municipal employees yesterday said they would stage a 24-hour strike on October 6 and a 48-hour strike from October 16 in protest at the government’s failure to make good on promises that persuaded workers to call off their action over the summer. In Athens, protesters are to stage a demonstration in central Karaiskaki Square before marching to the Interior Ministry. Unionists are demanding higher pay and that all workers be given permanent contracts. Last summer, rolling strike action resulted in tons of garbage piling up on the streets of Athens. UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS Cut their pay, minister asks deans Education Minister Petros Efthymiou has written to the deans and principals of universities and technical colleges, requesting that they cut the wages and bonuses of professors who are on an indefinite strike over pay, ministry sources said yesterday. Unionists representing the professors, who are scheduled to meet with Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis today, yesterday described Efthymiou’s demand as «authoritarianism.» It was unclear yesterday whether the deans and principals were prepared to implement Efthymiou’s proposal. Greek-Hungarian ties President Costis Stephanopoulos and his Hungarian counterpart Ferenc Madl, who is on a three-day visit to Athens, yesterday discussed their two countries’ cooperation within the European Union in the business sector, as well as plans to develop a modern road network connecting Greece with the Balkans and Central Europe, Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos said after the meeting. The sections of the Route X road network to be funded by Greece will be specified during Stephanopoulos’s scheduled visit to Serbia next month, Loverdos said. Madl is due to meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis today before his departure tomorrow. Cop charged A 43-year-old Thessaloniki police officer has been charged with violation of duty for accepting payments from the owner of a local amusement arcade in exchange for briefings of imminent police inspections for illegal slot machines, officials said yesterday. Panayiotis Filokostas had allegedly been accepting monthly payments of 3,000 euros from 49-year-old Christos Maglaras since December of last year. Maglaras faces charges of bribery. Bank heists Lone gunmen conducted three bank robberies in different parts of Attica within as many hours yesterday. The first raid was just after midday on a bank in the Athenian district of Kallithea and was carried out by a man who netted 5,000 euros. The second robbery occurred just before 2 p.m. when an armed assailant made off with 10,000 euros from a bank in the suburb of Dafni. The third raid took place half an hour later at a bank in Argyroupolis from which a gunman stole 4,000 euros. Church war A representative of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios yesterday handed Foreign Minister George Papandreou a letter from the patriarch on his positions regarding the Istanbul-based patriarchate’s ongoing turf war with the Church of Greece. Papandreou will pass on the letter to Prime Minister Costas Simitis. The government has indicated it will not intervene in the dispute. Immigrants Border guards in Thrace have arrested two Turkish nationals trying to enter Greece with forged Bulgarian passports, police said yesterday.