NEWS

In Brief

ATHENS TAXI STRIKE

Cabbies renege on meter deal There will be no taxis in Athens on Saturday following yesterday’s decision by the Association of Attica Taxi Drivers to call another 24-hour strike in protest at the government’s insistence that they install receipt-issuing meters in their vehicles by January 1. Unionists, who last week reneged on an agreement with the Economy Ministry by asking for a year’s extension to install the meters, complained of the ministry’s «unacceptable and inexplicable persistence for the installation of the meters in the absence of any feasibility study,» adding that meters that have been approved are «unsuitable.» Cephalonia quake A strong undersea quake, measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale, occurred in the Ionian Sea between the islands of Cephalonia and Lefkada shortly before 9.30 a.m. yesterday. There were no reports of injuries or damage. Migrants intercepted Port Authority officials on Lesvos early yesterday morning detained 34 illegal immigrants spotted in a wooden boat off the island’s coast, the Merchant Marine Ministry said, adding that the seven men, six women and 21 children – whose nationalities were not known – had reached the island’s shores from neighboring Turkey. Lesvos authorities on Friday night detained a group of five men who had reached the island in an inflatable dinghy, the ministry added. The nationality of migrants was, once again, not announced. Toxic deliveries? Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Paschalidis said yesterday an investigation would be conducted to determine whether highly toxic chemicals were removed from decommissioned British naval ships in Greek shipyards in 2001. The move followed reported statements by British government officials at the end of last week, according to which «contaminants» were removed from the Olwen and Olna tankers which were said to contain high levels of asbestos and carcinogens.