NEWS

In Brief

EDUCATION- Private school teachers call 24-hour strike for Monday For the first time in 14 years, teachers at private schools are calling a 24-hour strike, on Monday, demanding a ceiling on the number of teachers who may be fired. At a news conference yesterday, representatives of the teachers said yesterday that they will also stage a demonstration outside the Education Ministry. Compensation claim Relatives of airmen killed in crash blame bad engine The relatives of three air force officers, killed when their Albatross maritime patrol plane crashed into a house in Elefsina in January 1992, are demanding 160 million drachmas in compensation from the air force authorities. A Court of First Instance in Athens is considering their claim and a decision is expected over the next few weeks. The air force authorities say the incident was an accident but the officers’ relatives blame the bungled repair of an engine which had been dangerously faulty in the past. UEFA Cup PAOK, AEK take slim lead Soccer clubs PAOK and AEK could not hold on to their leads and both ended up squeezing through 3-2 against their respective rivals, Holland’s Eindhoven and Bulgaria’s Litex, in yesterday’s UEFA Cup third-round, first-leg matches. Both will have to survive the away leg two weeks hence to make it to the round of 16. Mitsotakis testimony. Constantine Mitsotakis, honorary chairman of the opposition New Democracy (ND) party, yesterday testified in the investigation into claims by PASOK General Secretary Costas Laliotis that the former prime minister had siphoned off party donations using an offshore Liberian firm. Mitsotakis, who last month sued Laliotis for defamation, avoided reporters’ questions about the investigation but said honorable politicians did not fear justice. Mitsotakis’s testimony follows that of former ND President Miltiades Evert on Wednesday. New Democracy yesterday called for a president to be appointed for Parliament’s transparency committee so that it could investigate whether a contract signed by Laliotis for the building of Athens Airport was better than the one signed by the Mitsotakis government of 1990-1993. Armed robbery. A Thessaloniki court has remanded for trial six people for allegedly taking part in eight armed robberies – one of which resulted in the death of student Vassiliki Katsanou, the Athens News Agency said yesterday. According to the court order, Panagiotis Vassiliadis and Vassilis Kartsios broke into the Triandia branch of Commercial Bank in October 1998 and stole 6 million drachmas. One of the men shot dead the 20-year-old woman. The two men have raided seven other banks, aided on one occasion by an Albanian, Niko Kola. The other three men facing trial allegedly supplied stolen bikes for the getaways. Flood prosecutions. The public prosecutor has issued charges against all those responsible, through negligence, for the recent flooding in eight areas of Attica, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. The charges are directed at all those who implemented either incomplete measures or none at all. Apart from Attica, five areas of Oropos were affected, two at Marathon, as well as the national highway at Malakasa which was swamped with debris from a nearby construction site lacking a protective barrier. Farmers stand ground. Farmers in Central Macedonia decided yesterday to keep their tractors at the site of their rally near Kilkis after the promises of the deputy minister for agriculture, Evangelos Argyris, failed to persuade their unions to withdraw. Union chiefs told farmers to continue their demonstrations until Monday when the announcement of cotton prices is expected. Farmers in Kilkis, northern Greece, yesterday used their tractors to briefly block a local flyover in what their union leader, Theoclis Nikolaidis, called a symbolic move. Russian-Greek defense. Greek and Russian defense officials vowed yesterday to boost military cooperation ahead of an official visit to Athens by Russian President Vladimir Putin next month. Greek Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, who met with Russian Deputy Defense Minister Mikhail Dmitriev, said the high quality of Russia’s military products boded well for future cooperation, The Associated Press reported. Russia has supplied Greece with anti-aircraft missiles including the long-range S-300s based in Crete.