NEWS

In Brief

SEWAGE TREATMENT

Residue from site off Piraeus will soon be overflowing The solid residue produced by a sewage treatment site on the islet of Psyttaleia off Piraeus can only be stored on the islet for another three to five months, Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias said yesterday in response to a question by a Communist Party MP. The residue produced by the site – which has been credited with a massive improvement in the cleanliness of the Saronic Gulf – had been disposed of at the Ano Liosia landfill until a landslide last March forced officials to keep the sludge on the islet. Souflias did not propose alternative solutions for disposing of the sludge during the summer. NAZI REPARATIONS Court to rule whether relatives of massacre victims can seize assets The Council of State’s plenary session is to decide whether a ministerial decision banning relatives of Nazi massacre victims from seizing property in Greece belonging to the German State to provide reparations is constitutional or not, according to a ruling by the court’s fourth section which was made public yesterday. German occupation troops slaughtered 214 villagers in the village of Distomo, near Delphi in central Greece, in June 1944. Wednesday’s ruling was reached following a difference of opinion on whether the 2000 ministerial decision is in accordance with international law and the Constitution, reports said. OLYMPICS THEFT Intruders net 4,100 euros from safe Unidentified thieves broke into Olympics organizers’ offices in Ambelokipi, central Athens, and stole 4,100 euros from a safe, according to a report in yesterday’s Eleftherotypia daily. An office employee said the theft took place between April 16 and 20 but that it was a couple of days before staff realized the cash was missing, the daily said. Unemployment0 Unemployment dropped by 0.7 percent last year – reaching 9.3 percent, compared to 10 percent in 2002, according to National Statistics Service data made public yesterday. The problem was proportionally highest among the 15-29 age group where 21.4 percent were jobless, the data showed. The highest rate of unemployment last year was 15.7 percent in western Macedonia, and the lowest was 7.4 percent in the northern Aegean, according to the service data. May 1 strike The General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) yesterday called a general strike for May 1. GSEE, the Civil Servants’ Union (ADEDY) and the Athens Labor Center (EKA) are organizing a joint rally in central Syntagma Square on the same day. Charity fraudster The Doctors Without Borders charity yesterday warned would-be donors not to give their money to an unidentified man who has allegedly been traveling around Attica collecting cash on the pretense of representing the organization. Doctors Without Borders only takes donations directly into its bank accounts and through responses to its information leaflets, the organization said. Civil protection The new chief of the Civil Protection Secretariat, Panayiotis Fourlas, yesterday officially assumed his duties during a ceremony attended by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos. Fourlas was formerly chief of the national fire service. Streambed The Council of State yesterday ruled against ministerial decisions to build over the Pikrodafni streambed in southeastern Athens. The plans, which included the construction of a parking lot, are null and void because the environmental study that was conducted had not focused on sections of the stream in both Ilioupolis and Aghios Dimitrios, the court ruled. Independent MPs MPs Andreas Andrianopoulos, Stefanos Manos and Stelios Papathemelis yesterday declared their independent status in letters sent to Parliament Speaker Anna Benaki-Psarouda. Andrianopoulos and Manos were elected to Parliament on the PASOK ticket and Papathemelis on New Democracy’s. Roadworks Works on an interchange at the Faros junction in Psychico will cause traffic disruption on Kifissias Avenue and surrounding roads from 11 p.m. today until 11 p.m. on Monday, the Public Works Ministry said yesterday.