NEWS

In Brief

PESMAZOGLOU DIES

Veteran politician brought Greece closer to Europe Veteran politician and economist Yiangos Pesmazoglou, who headed negotiations that led to Greece signing an association agreement with the then European Economic Community, died yesterday at the age of 86. Pesmazoglou, born on Chios in 1918, served as finance minister in the first government (under Constantine Karamanlis) after the fall of the military dictatorship in 1974. He was an MP in the European Parliament from 1981 to 1984 while heading the Democratic Socialist Party (KODISO) and was president of the Athens Academy in 1996. He is to be buried at Athens’s First Cemetery at 11.30 a.m. tomorrow. OLYMPIC STRIKE Planned 4-day action from today ruled illegal, workers debate reaction A four-day strike by Olympic Airways flight attendants, due to begin today, was yesterday deemed illegal by an Athens court. However, it was unclear whether flight disruptions would be avoided as unionists vowed to press on with their action. Workers oppose plans to transfer them to the new streamlined Olympic Airlines and seek the abolishment of a new collective work contract – which foresees longer work hours but lower salaries. CRETAN QUAKE 4.7-Richter tremor is third in a week An undersea quake, measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale, occurred yesterday afternoon off Tympaki on the southern coast of Crete – the third strong tremor to strike the area this week. No injuries or damage were reported. The same area was struck by a 5.2 Richter quake on Monday afternoon and by a 4.5-magnitude tremor on Tuesday morning. Attiki Odos A major section of the Attiki Odos highway – between the Metamorphosis junction on the Athens-Lamia national road and the Elefsina tollgates – will open officially on Sunday during a ceremony at the Ano Liosia tunnel to be attended by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou. Essentially, most of the Attiki Odos will be operating as of noon on Sunday, with the exception of a small section of around 3 kilometers at the Stavros interchange. Lawyers strike Athens lawyers yesterday decided to stage a 24-hour strike next Wednesday and a 48-hour strike from December 11 to reiterate demands that the State pay more than 350 million euros in alleged arrears to their pension fund. Teachers protest Members of the state high school teachers federation (OLME) are to stage two three-hour work stoppages today – from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m, and a demonstration outside the Education Ministry at 1 p.m. Papandreou letters A legal suit by Margaret Papandreou against journalist and Communist Party MP Liana Kaneli for slander and violation of privacy was heard today. Papandreou is suing Kaneli for 1.46 million euros for publishing letters she had written to her son, Foreign Minister George Papandreou, about three years ago. By publishing the letters in her magazine Nemesis, Kaneli had tried to suggest Papandreou had ties to circles that exert US influence on Greek politics, Papandreou’s lawyer said. Railway disruptions There will be no service on the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway on the stretch between Tavros and Piraeus from tomorrow morning until Sunday night due to works on the route’s signaling system. Replacement buses will be available. From Monday, the platform for Piraeus-bound passengers at KAT station will reopen and the Kifissia-bound platform will close for work. Forged euros Two men, aged 50 and 22, are to face a Serres prosecutor after being caught with 100 forged 50-euro notes each, police said yesterday. Arson attacks Two cventral Thessaloniki bank branches were severely damaged by Molotov cocktail bombs in attacks late on Wednesday night.