NEWS

In Brief

SCHOOL FEES

Increases of 6.5 to 7 percent expected for this academic year after reforms Private school fees are set to increase by between 6.5 and 7 percent this academic year, following a decision made public by the Development Ministry yesterday which paves the way for the liberalization of fees. The reform provides for the total liberalization of fees for the first year of kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and also for foreign-language tuition institutes. AEGEAN LULL Drop in Turkish violations last month compared to July 2003, officials say The rate of violations of Greek national air space in the Aegean by Turkish military aircraft dropped 44.2 percent last month compared to July 2003, military officials in Athens said yesterday. Also, the number of Turkish infringements of the Athens Flight Information Region fell 22.7 percent last month compared to July 2003, they said. LUCRATIVE ROBBERY Trio nets 400,000 euros Three armed robbers, wearing dark clothing resembling police uniforms, made off with 400,000 euros in cash yesterday morning after raiding a post office branch in the coastal Athens suburb of Palaio Faliron. They fled on a motorcycle parked outside the branch. Also yesterday, two armed robbers stole 39,000 euros from a bank in the Thessaloniki district of Ambelokipi. Piraeus disruption The central port of Piraeus will be closed to shipping traffic from 10 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. tomorrow as a navy minesweeping vessel searches the Saronic Gulf for mines, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. Corinth Canal The Corinth Canal will be closed today – from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. – and all day tomorrow due to a tug strike. Cesspit drowning A 3-year-old girl drowned yesterday after falling into an open cesspit while playing in front of her uncle’s home in the Gypsy settlement in Acharnes, northern Athens. Papandreou in hospital Opposition leader George Papandreou was admitted to the Thriassio hospital in western Attica yesterday with a respiratory infection. By late yesterday, there was no further report on the state of his health. Olympic garbage Athens 2004 Organizing Committee (ATHOC) officials said yesterday that they had signed a memorandum of cooperation with local authorities in Thessaloniki aimed at ensuring as much garbage as possible is recycled instead of being dumped during the Olympics and Paralympics. More than 9,000 tons of garbage are expected to be dumped during the Olympics and the Paralympics, ATHOC’s environmental affairs director, Giorgos Kazantzopoulos, told a press conference in Thessaloniki yesterday. Elderly home A temporary management board is to take over the operation of the Athens Old Age Home until the conclusion of a judicial inquiry into allegations that residents had been subjected to clinical trials without their written consent, a court ruled yesterday. Health sector inspectors, who had been probing the allegations since June 2003, had found that the residents of the Ambelokipi faculty had been used in a medical study funded by a pharmaceutical company. Piracy Armed pirates raided a Cyprus-flagged cargo ship off the Sierra Leonese port of Freetown early yesterday morning, wounding four of the 24-strong crew, including one Greek, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. It was not clear how the raiders managed to board the Patraikos, where they looted cash and other valuables, the ministry said. Earthquakes A moderate earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale struck the town of Gastouni, in the northwestern Peloponnese, just before 7 a.m. yesterday. Another two quakes, measuring 4 on the Richter scale, struck the undersea area between the Peloponnese and Zakynthos. No injuries or damage were reported.