Employers and labor unions agree to gradual increases over next two years Employers and private sector labor unions yesterday reached a two-year agreement on salary increases which foresees a 4 percent rise in wages from January 2004 and a further 2 percent increase from September. The agreement also foresees a rise of 2.2 percent from January 2005 and a further 3.3 percent rise in September 2005. MILITARY INSPECTIONS Labor, Defense Ministry officials to check work safety measures Labor Ministry inspectors are to join military officials in touring military sites across the country to determine the extent to which they adhere to international work safety standards, the Defense Ministry said yesterday. The inspections, ordered by Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos, are to be carried out by six-strong teams. The unprecedented decision to allow civilian inspectors access to military units followed an accident at a border army outpost in April in which five conscripts were electrocuted. OLYMPIC PASSES Deadline expires tomorrow Attica residents living or working near Olympic venues have until tomorrow to submit their applications to municipal authorities for a special pass allowing them to drive and park in forbidden «red zones.» So far, only 2,000 applications have been made by an estimated 15,000 eligible citizens. Spring over Antonis Samaras yesterday announced the suspension of Political Spring, the political party he founded in 1993 as a conservative New Democracy splinter group and has headed since then, after calling a final session of the party’s executive committee. Samaras is expected to be on New Democracy’s ticket for next month’s European elections. Papadopoulos well Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos returned to work yesterday after fainting during a funeral at a Nicosia church on Wednesday. Papadopoulos’s private doctor said that cardiograms conducted after the incident had not showed any cause for concern. Illegal immigrants Coast guards on Samos yesterday detained 19 Afghan immigrants who had reached the island on a speedboat captained by a Turkish smuggler, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The migrants said the captain dropped them off before returning to Turkey, the ministry said. Also yesterday, Deputy Public Order Minister Christos Markoyiannakis chaired a meeting with other government officials cracking down on illegal immigration during the Olympics. Keryneia arrives A full-scale reconstruction of a third century BC Cypriot trading vessel is due to sail into Piraeus harbor at 5 p.m. today. The Keryneia-Eleftheria is the second modern reconstruction of an ancient trader excavated and partially recovered off the coast of Keryneia before the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Rapper charged A Greek rap singer was charged with attempted murder and firearms offenses yesterday after police broke up a fracas in the northern Athens suburb of Neo Psychico when shots were fired. Police said tattoo studio owner and singer Andreas Marnezos, 30, and his assistant had beaten up a 39-year-old man from Oropos before firing nine blank shotgun rounds at his victim. ELA trial A witness in the trial of Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) suspects, who had been given information about the terror group by the former wife of one of its alleged members, yesterday said he did not approach police because he is «a leftist and not an informer.» The former wife of ELA suspect Angeletos Kanas, Sofia Kyriakidou – the trial’s key prosecution witness – allegedly told Ioannis Ventouris that her ex-husband had been an ELA member and also provided names of other alleged members of the group. Heroin haul A 40-year-old man has been arrested in the Athens district of Kallithea in possession of five kilos of heroin, police said yesterday. The suspect’s identity was not made public.