NEWS

In Brief

Existing laws setting quotas for the recruitment of women to posts in the public sector are unconstitutional, a seven-member committee of the third section of the Council of State ruled yesterday. The ruling followed an appeal lodged by a woman whose application to join the police as a border guard in 2001 was rejected due to a quota setting the recruitment of women at 10 percent of the force. A final decision on the ruling is to be made by the council’s plenary session. CHURCH FEUD Patriarch warns of schism if ‘provocations’ continue «I prefer peace. But if I am provoked to war, my quiver is full of arrows,» Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios yesterday told private Mega television channel when questioned about an ongoing feud between himself and Archbishop Christodoulos over the control of 36 Greek sees. «If this effort continues to saw off the legs supporting the Ecumenical Patriarchate, then I very much fear we will reach a schism,» he added. Also yesterday, Vartholomaios urged European Union leaders to refer to Europe’s Christian heritage in its new Constitution during a conference in Istanbul attended by EU lawmakers. STRIKES Doctors step up protest action State hospital doctors in Athens and Piraeus, who today complete a 48-hour strike over pay, yesterday decided to continue their protest action with 48-hour strikes planned for October 23-24 and 30-31 and work stoppages at outpatient clinics every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Meanwhile, garbage collectors and other municipal workers today complete a 48-hour strike, seeking higher pay and job security. Protesting hospital staff, municipal workers and Culture Ministry employees staged demonstrations in central Athens yesterday, causing traffic problems. Road tax Vehicle owners will have from between November 3 and December 31 to pay their road tax for 2004, according to a Finance Ministry directive made public yesterday. They will be able to buy the special tax stickers from most banks and should bring with them their reminder letter. If the letter has been lost, vehicle owners should visit their local tax office where they can obtain their tax sticker. Stickers must be displayed from January 1. Fugitive caught One of the five men who escaped from a police detention center in Thessaloniki last week was due back in the northern city yesterday following his arrest at a hotel in Haidari, Athens. Police found 33-year-old Christos Ioannou – who was serving a double life sentence and 60 years for two killings – following a tip-off. Pro-N17 rally Hundreds of anarchists yesterday staged a demonstration in central Athens in support of 19 November 17 terrorist group suspects currently on trial at Korydallos Prison. MP dies Opposition New Democracy MP and former Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis died yesterday aged 87. Culture clash A Piraeus prosecutor yesterday ordered a preliminary investigation after five Piraeus nightclubs, which the Culture Ministry ordered to close on Tuesday, failed to stop operating. The ministry had ordered the five clubs to close due to their proximity to one of the gates of the port’s city walls. Aegean buildings The Aegean Ministry yesterday tabled in Parliament a bill offering incentives to building owners to demolish eyesores in the Aegean. The owners are to be offered financial incentives – for the whole or partial demolition of their property – including compensation of up to the full sum paid in cases of expropriation of land and buildings by the state and ministry or EU funding for landlords, who will retain ownership of the buildings. School fees All private schools must henceforth display their fees in a place of prominence at the school where children’s parents or guardians can easily see them during visits, according to a Development Ministry decision made public yesterday.