NEWS

In Brief

Rubbish – True to form, Athens dustmen hold strike before Christmas Athenians are being asked not to leave their garbage out for collection after street cleaners and garbage collectors yesterday began the first of a series of 48-hour strikes in what has become a pre-holiday tradition. Workers say they will continue to strike until the government satisfies the economic demands they made in October. Aviation strike Fear of air traffic disruptions on Monday Greek civil aviation workers yesterday said they would join a public servants’ strike over wages on Monday, an action which could disrupt airports around the country. The aviation workers’ union, OSYPA, said it was joining the three-hour walkout, beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, to protest against the government’s incomes policy and OSYPA’s exemption from the civil servants’ bonus. UN in Cyprus Peacekeeping mandate renewed The UN Security Council yesterday voted unanimously to extend the UN’s peacekeeping mission in Cyprus for six months until June 15 and reaffirmed resolutions calling for reunification. The 15 council members approved without debate a resolution which reaffirms all previous resolutions on Cyprus, including one adopted in 1999 calling for Cyprus to be reunified as a single state but with two federal zones. Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides said yesterday next month’s direct discussions on resolving the Cyprus problem should start yielding results by June. Weather. The weather is expected to deteriorate even further today, meteorologists said yesterday. Drivers are still advised to use anti-skid chains in most of central and northern Greece, where roads remain dangerous due to heavy snow and low temperatures. Many schools in central and western Macedonia were closed yesterday due to snowdrifts, while heavy snow also isolated Larisa from neighboring villages, as many roads remain closed. Port authorities will be on high alert today in expectation of strong winds and heavy rain, the Merchant Marine Ministry announced yesterday. Press protest. The president of the Athens Journalist Association (ESIEA) said yesterday that recent industry sackings were unacceptable, adding that he and his peers would try to prevent further redundancies and seek to reinstate their sacked colleagues. Aristeidis Manolakos drew particular attention to the dismissal of 180 journalists from Lambrakis Press, 90 from Flash and several from newspapers including Kathimerini. Staff of Lambrakis Press have planned a protest strike at the ESIEA offices next Tuesday, and a general industry strike is planned for next Thursday. Christodoulos upset. The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece yesterday elected three new bishops for the sees of Syros, Sidirokastro and Halkida, only one of whom was proposed by Archbishop Christodoulos. Christodoulos’s favored candidate for Syros, Dorotheos Polykandriotis, clinched his position by a slim majority. Makarios Filotheou gained the Sidirokastro post, amassing almost twice as many votes as the archbishop’s preferred candidate, Ioakeim Karachristo. Chrysostomos Triantafyllou won a landslide victory in Halkida. Prosecutors protest. Athens prosecutors met yesterday to discuss what they regard as the government’s interference in the functioning of the prosecution system. They said the intervention of any authority outside the legal system threatened the proper course of justice. School teachers. The unions of Greek primary and secondary school teachers, DOE and OLME respectively, have both planned strikes on Monday to demand more funding for education. DOE members will strike for two hours and OLME unionists for three hours at lunchtime. Neither union has ruled out the possibility of strike action after the holiday period. Greece devotes 3.5 percent of its GDP to education, less than any other EU country. Trafficking in minors. Police in Attica have arrested a 30-year-old man charged with forcing a 15-year-old Albanian girl into prostitution just two days after the government passed a bill to combat human trafficking. Spyros Kavvadias was located through the small ads, which he used to conduct his business. He was then arrested at a prearranged meeting where a police officer posed as a client. The girl was found to have a forged passport which gave a false age.