NEWS

In Brief

NO TAXIS

Athens cabbies resume action today with a 48-hour strike Athens taxi drivers are to resume their protest action today with a 48-hour strike starting at 5 a.m. Cabbies object to a government decision to install cash registers in their vehicles, and seek access to bus lanes and the right to charge higher fares. The Association of Attica Taxi Drivers (SATA) intensified protest action with a four-day strike at the end of last month after meetings between unionists and government failed to yield a compromise. Yesterday, the civil servants’ union (ADEDY) called a 24-hour strike for November 4 in protest at the government’s failure to increase salaries. AL QUAEDA? Afghan illegal immigrant investigated for terror links An Afghan national arrested for illegally entering Greece about a month ago is being investigated for possible links with the Al Quaeda terrorist group that mounted the September 11 series of attacks in the USA, sources said yesterday. The man is believed to be wanted in Afghanistan for a series of crimes. The government yesterday confirmed that «an Arab» is being investigated for terrorist links, but said no such evidence had emerged so far. A police spokesman downplayed the affair. PARALYMPICS Tickets go on sale in Greece, Europe Tickets for next year’s Athens Paralympics went on sale in Greece and Europe yesterday, organizers said. Separate tickets are available for individual days, for the opening and closing ceremonies, and for specific competitions (such as the final rounds of certain events), with prices ranging from five to 50 euros. Tickets can be bought at 140 Alpha Bank branches across Greece, on the official Athens 2004 website www.athens2004.com/tickets or by calling 800.11.2004.2 toll-free. Those outside Greece can call +30.210.373.0000 or visit authorized ticketing agents. European Court Greek judge Vassilis Skouris was yesterday elected president of the European Court in Christos Protopappas expressed the satisfaction of the Greek government at Skouris’s election. Government officials expressed deep satisfaction. Plane crash An amateur pilot was yesterday in critical condition in hospital after the single-engined aircraft he flying crashed shortly after taking off from the Eordaia flying club near Ptolemaida in western Macedonia. Dimitris Savvas lost control of the aircraft after being buffeted by strong winds, reports said. Online tax All taxpayers will be able to obtain documents related to their tax declarations using the Internet by this December thanks to upgrading work on the Finance Ministry’s Taxisnet system, which will be able to accept all tax declarations online by 2005, Deputy Minister Apostolos Fotiadis said yesterday. Currently, 650,000 taxpayers use the Taxisnet system to conduct their tax transactions, Fotiadis said. Fishermen freed Turkish authorities late on Monday night released a Greek father and son, arrested on Sunday after drifting toward the Turkish bank of the River Evros, according to Greek authorities who collected the pair from the border crossing of Kastanea, Evros. The amateur fishermen had become disorientated due to fog, sources said yesterday. US visit Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou yesterday spoke about Greek foreign and defense policy at the second national conference on Greek-US relations in Washington. Papantoniou, who is due in Colorado today for a two-day summit of NATO defense ministers, spoke about the improvement in Greek-Turkish relations regarding matters of regional security, and about plans to boost the remit of the EU defense force’s capabilities. School leak A liquid that leaked from the transformer of an electricity pylon near a primary school in the city of Aridaia in Macedonia yesterday did not contain the toxic chemical clophen, the Public Power Corporation (PPC) said yesterday. Teachers at the school removed children from the site of the spillage and the local police and fire were called. PPC said the liquid was a mixture of oil and water. Transformers containing clophen were removed from the Finance Ministry’s central Athens office in June after a clophen leak.