NEWS

In Brief

WINTER HOURS

Clocks go back one hour at 4 a.m. on Sunday as summer time ends Clocks go back one hour on Sunday at 4 a.m. – to 3 a.m. – as European Summer Time ends and Greece officially enters winter time. Clocks change back to summer time at the end of March. HOSPITAL DOCTORS Stoppages due every day next week in Athens and Piraeus State hospital doctors in Athens and Piraeus are to stage a three-day walkout from surgeries and outpatient clinics from Monday before holding a 48-hour strike on Thursday and Friday. Doctors want higher salaries and investment in their sector to be doubled. TAXIS Compromise ends strike Taxi drivers were yesterday afternoon back on the street of Athens, cutting short a 48-hour strike that was due to finish at 5 a.m. today, after unionists reached a compromise with government officials. Drivers will still have to install receipt-issuing meters in their vehicles by January 2004 but will be taxed according to the existing system until the beginning of 2005 under the agreement – which mentioned nothing about Athens bus lanes to which cabbies demand access. Test triathlon An Olympic triathlon test event in southern Athens today will cause traffic disruptions between Kavouri and Vouliagmeni from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event comprises swimming, cycling and running races. The cycling route runs along Vouliagmenis and Athinas avenues, Ermou, Eratous, Mavroleontos and Panos streets and Poseidonos Avenue. The footrace will be along Poseidonos and Athinas. Halki seminary The key orthodox seminary of Halki in Turkey, which Turkish authorities closed in 1974, could reopen next year, the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios was quoted as saying yesterday by the Athens News Agency. «We are optimistic, the (Turkish) government appears to have understood the necessity and legality of (the seminary reopening) which is our right,» Vartholomaios was quoted as saying. Hellenikon park Greece will hold an international competition in December for the designing of a new metropolitan park on the site of the old Hellenikon Athens airport, the government said yesterday. Rail disruptions Kifissia-bound trains on the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway (ISAP) will not be stopping at Kato Patissia station on Sunday until 5.30 p.m. due to works on the platform. Piraeus-bound trains will stop at Kato Patissia as usual. Hania fire A team of 100 Cretan firefighters, aided by 30 fire engines and three water-dropping aircraft, yesterday afternoon extinguished a blaze that had been ravaging the Mousourou municipality, near Hania, since Thursday and is estimated to have destroyed 200 hectares of farmland, orange and olive groves. However, the fire caused no damage to homes, unlike a blaze in Georgoupolis which gutted 10 houses. Eco-prosecutors Environment and Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou has written to Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos asking him to appoint regional prosecutors to deal with «environmental issues,» such as illegal building activity and the unauthorized placement of advertising billboards, ministry officials said yesterday. Franco-Greek ties Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou yesterday discussed Europe’s rapid reaction force, Cyprus and Iraq during a meeting in Athens with his French counterpart Michele Alliot-Marie. «France and Greece are true allies in our aim to create an independent European defense which will complement NATO but also have the ability to undertake its own European operations,» Papantoniou said. Tourism talks Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos yesterday discussed developments in the tourism sector ahead of a scheduled bi-ministerial committee meeting on the subject scheduled for Wednesday.