In Brief


Government officials welcome news Government officials yesterday welcomed news of the capture of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein by US occupation forces on Saturday. «I hope that this… finally closes a dramatic chapter in the history of the Iraqi people and will contribute to boosting security and accelerating the process of political restructuring… and the transfer of power to the Iraqi people,» Foreign Minister George Papandreou said. Saddam’s capture «puts an end to a story that caused great trouble to the Iraqi people and the rest of the world,» government spokesman Christos Protopapas said, adding that «it is time to boost efforts for the restoration of democracy and self-determination for the Iraqi people.» Taxi strike Taxi drivers are today to continue an indefinite strike in protest at a government decision obliging them to install receipt-issuing meters in their vehicles by January 1. But some Athens cab firms had started operating yesterday. Unionists, who are to meet government officials today, want state inspections on their vehicles to be suspended – at least until January 8 when their Christmas bonus stops applying. They said they would demonstrate in Athens tomorrow if today’s meeting is unproductive. Cabbies also want access to Athens bus lanes. Terror threat The threat of international terrorism at next year’s Olympic Games would be lesser if the responsibility for providing security rested with «the country’s domestic forces and not an assembly of so many foreign services which possibly even provoke those who direct, rally or participate in modern-day terrorism,» Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis told a meeting of the country’s judges and prosecutors yesterday. Olympic strike Olympic Airlines flight attendants on Saturday decided to call their sixth four-day strike in a row in a continuing protest against company plans to cut salaries and jobs under the transition whereby, on Friday, it replaced the old, debt-ridden Olympic Airways. OA is expected to conduct scheduled flights using temporary staff as it has been doing for the last two weeks. Pigeons stolen Unidentified thieves have stolen dozens of valuable homing pigeons from the construction site of a marble factory in Drama, northern Greece, where they were being kept, the Athens News Agency reported on Saturday. A day before stealing 30 pigeons belonging to Nikolaos Samaras, the thieves had poisoned his hunting dog.