NEWS

In Brief

LABOR DEMANDS

Hospital doctors say they will join 24-hour workers strike on Thursday State hospital doctors said yesterday that they would join Thursday’s 24-hour strike by the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) and the main civil servants’ union (ADEDY). Doctors are demanding outstanding pay from last year, salary rises and staff recruitment. GSEE and ADEDY leaders yesterday submitted to Parliament their proposals for legislative reforms granting permanency to workers on short-term contracts. OA PRIVATIZATION Bid to shield ailing carrier from legal claims pending new sale effort In an amendment added yesterday to a draft bill on education, the government is seeking to restrain the enforcement of any legal claims against Olympic Airlines, Greece’s ailing state carrier, until the end of February. This is meant to give the debt-stricken carrier more time to attract a buyer as the government makes a fresh attempt at privatization. PAPAL GIFT Rome to return saints’ relics Pope John Paul II has pledged to return the relics of the saints John Chrysostomos and Gregory the Theologian to the Orthodox Church, according to a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, which was made public yesterday. The relics of the two saints formed part of the plunder of the crusaders who sacked Constantinople in 1204. Underage drinking A Kilkis court yesterday set a date for the trial of two owners of local bars, arrested for selling alcohol to minors. In one of the two cases, the child was allegedly 14 years old. The arrests were carried out following a recent crackdown on bars across the prefecture, ordered by a local prosecutor. Bus stop crash A car veered off course and crashed into a bus stop on Ippocratous Street, central Athens, yesterday afternoon, killing a 40-year-old woman and injuring her 10-year-old son. The woman was not identified. The boy was being treated at Aglaia Kyriakou’s Children’s Hospital, according to police, who did not confirm the extent of his injuries. No details were provided about the driver of the car or what caused the crash. Technical colleges Departments of technical colleges (TEIs) which do not attract sufficient pupils will be subject to temporary closure, according to an amendment presented in Parliament yesterday. Journalist attacked A sports journalist known for his controversial reports was in hospital yesterday following an attack by two men wielding iron bars and knives, police said. Philippos Syrigos, who writes for Eleftherotypia daily, had been leaving the Sport FM radio station in Kallithea at around 4 p.m. when the men, wearing motorcycle helmets, attacked him. He was reported in a stable condition following surgery. Hikers rescued An overnight rescue operation ended yesterday morning when two adults and two children, on a Scouts outing, were led out of a gorge on Mount Parnitha after one of the adults had been incapacitated due to injuries from a fall. Iphigenia Tzannakou, 20, fell into the Goura gorge on western Parnitha on Sunday afternoon while on a mountain hike with Scout leader Christos Provatas, 30, and two girls aged 11 and 13. Tzannakou was taken to an Athens hospital for treatment. Minister charged Cypriot Health Minister Dina Akkelidou, who wrote to a judge seeking leniency to ensure a suspected drug dealer was not sent to prison, was yesterday charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice. Akkelidou denied the charges. If she stands trial for the alleged offense, which is to be decided by next week, it is believed to be the first time a serving cabinet minister will be put in the dock. Migrants detained Coast guards on Chios yesterday detained five illegal immigrants who had reached the Aegean island from the neighboring Turkish port of Cesme on an inflatable rowboat, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. An appeals court prosecutor ordered the repatriation of the would-be migrants, the ministry said, without determining their ethnic origin.