NEWS

In Brief

TAXI STRIKE

No cabs in Athens on Saturday as drivers resume protest action There will be no taxis serving the streets of Athens and Piraeus on Saturday when taxi drivers join a 24-hour strike announced yesterday by the Association of Attica Taxi Drivers (SATA). Cabbies staged a four-day strike last week in protest at a government decision to install cash registers in their vehicles. Protesters also want access to bus lanes in the capital and the right to charge higher fares. A series of meetings between unionists and government officials has failed to yield a compromise. DOCTORS PROTEST State hospitals on skeleton staff for 72 hours from next Monday State hospitals in Athens and Piraeus are to operate on skeleton staff next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday following yesterday’s decision by hospital doctors to strike for higher salaries. Union representatives, who are due to meet with Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis today, have warned that they will progress to rolling strike action as of October 10 if the government fails to satisfy their demands. TEI DEADLOCK Professors stand their ground State technical college (TEI) professors are to join university professors in a protest march from the gates of Athens University to the Education Ministry tomorrow after yesterday’s meeting between TEI unionists and Deputy Economy Minister Nikos Farmakis failed to break a deadlock in salary negotiations. University and technical college professors embarked on open-ended strike action earlier this month after refusing a government offer to raise their salaries by 7 percent. Professors want a 20 percent increase over two years. Drunken sailor The 50-year-old captain of a passenger ferry on the Rio-Antirio crossing is to face a Patras court on October 10 after tests conducted on Saturday revealed he had been drinking on duty, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. Nikolaos Papadopoulos was arrested after a passenger on a Saturday crossing from Antirio to Rio realized that the vessel was zig-zagging and heard singing coming from the ferry bridge. N17 trial Defense lawyers for the 19 November 17 suspects are to take the stand today following the suspension of court proceedings at Korydallos Prison yesterday after the lawyer representing Dimitris Koufodinas was unable to appear in court for personal reasons. Karamanlis reforms Opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis yesterday presented his party’s proposals for overhauling Greece’s public administration system. The government dismissed Karamanlis’s proposals as a «non-program… meant to take the country back to a 19th century mentality.» Injured Hungarians A group of 22 Hungarian dancers was being treated yesterday at a Thessaloniki hospital after being injured in a coach accident on the Athens-Thessaloniki national road about 112 kilometers south (69 miles) of the northern city on Sunday. The coach, which was carrying 29 dancers back from a folk festival in Attica, overturned after the driver crashed into the passenger car ahead. Elia Kazan Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos yesterday paid tribute to stage and film director Elia Kazan, who died in New York on Sunday at the age of 94, but also referred to Kazan’s involvement in US Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist drive in the 1950s. «No one can forget the negative aspects of (Kazan’s) political stances, but equally no one can deny his status as a major director,» Venizelos said. Kazan, an ethnic Greek born in Istanbul, «always kept close contacts with the Greeks of Asia Minor,» Venizelos added. Border blockage Hog-breeders and slaughterhouse workers yesterday blocked the Ioannina-Athens national road at the Kalogiros Bridge, near Arta, in protest at an ongoing strike by state veterinarians which has resulted in large quantities of pork remaining in abattoirs as it is not allowed to be distributed until checked by vets.