NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC AIRWAYS

Flight attendants call fifth 4-day strike, unclear if flights will be disrupted Olympic Airways flight attendants yesterday called their fifth four-day strike in a row – which is to culminate at midnight on Saturday – following a meeting by unionists who oppose management plans to cut jobs and salaries ahead of OA’s relaunching as a trimmer Olympic Airlines. It was unclear whether OA would be carrying out scheduled flights despite strike action as it has been doing, with the use of temporary staff, since the beginning of this month. OA was forced to cancel dozens of flights following the launch on November 27 of the first four-day strike. Olympic Airlines is scheduled to materialize on Friday. EU CONSTITUTION Simitis talks with Berlusconi ahead of finalization of treaty Prime Minister Costas Simitis was in Rome yesterday to discuss the development of a European Constitution, ahead of the EU summit in Brussels later this week, with his Italian counterpart and current head of the EU presidency Silvio Berlusconi. Following talks with the Italian PM, which were also attended by Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Simitis said certain changes were required to the draft constitution. «For example, each country should have a commissioner with voting rights,» he said. TROLLEY STRIKE Athens service disruptions There will be no trolley service between 9.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. tomorrow due to a three-hour work stoppage by employees, the Athens and Piraeus trolley bus company said yesterday. Unionists, who want a new collective work contract, are to stage an urgent general assembly during the hours of the strike to discuss further action. Holy privilege The Synaspismos Left Coalition party yesterday condemned a draft amendment, tabled in Parliament by the Environment Ministry on Monday, which will allow the Church of Greece to construct a 67,000-square-meter conference center at Kareas, in one of the few remaining forests on the outskirts of Athens. «Mr Simitis’s government and the administration of Archbishop Christodoulos are cooperating in the commercialization of our environment ahead of general elections,» a party statement said. Set on a 2.7-hectare plot, the Kareas center would be over three times the size of the planned New Acropolis Museum. Air space violations Four formations of Turkish fighter jets yesterday violated the Athens Flight Information Region four times and Greek national air space in the central and eastern Aegean eight times, military officials said. Salonica 7 The national union of judges and prosecutors yesterday issued a statement saying that its decision to release seven young men jailed pending trial on charges of rioting during an anti-EU protest in June had in no way been influenced by the pressure from the State or any other organizations. Press reports claiming that union members had been influenced were «rash… and unfair,» it said Fatal fight A 25-year-old Thessaloniki fairground worker, who sustained serious head injuries on Saturday after being struck by a 19-year-old Armenian during a fracas, died in hospital yesterday. Yiannis Baharelis had been trying to pacify a group of bikers at the fairground entrance when he was attacked by the 19-year-old kick-boxing champion, police said. The suspect, whose name was not made public, was arrested on Sunday night. Migrants A group of 47 illegal immigrants were yesterday in detention following their arrest by Port Authority officials off the coast of Vathi Avlaki, in the southeastern Peloponnese, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The migrants told authorities they had reached the coast aboard a sailing boat from Turkey, the ministry said. Christmas armistice The Church of Greece yesterday decided to postpone until the beginning of January its response to the latest missive from Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios in the ongoing turf war between the patriarch and Archbishop Christodoulos. Court strike Court proceedings will be disrupted tomorrow and Friday as lawyers and court clerks stage a 24-hour strike.