Refuse set to pile up across Athens as street cleaners stage 48-hour strike Garbage is set to pile up across the streets of Athens over the next few days as street cleaners launch a 48-hour strike from tomorrow. The situation is expected to deteriorate further over the weekend, when garbage collection services are restricted. Street cleaners will be joining other municipal employees calling for a basic salary of 1,100 euros. They are also protesting against the creation of a new waste recycling plant at Fyli in western Attica. AKTOR REBUFFED ESR refuses to review its decision to block access to state contracts Greece’s broadcasting watchdog yesterday refused to review its decision to block top construction firm Aktor access to three state contracts. Aktor’s appeal – according to which the decision by the National Broadcasting Council (ESR) had been overdue – was unanimously rejected by council members. Aktor had also claimed in its appeal that votes by two council members had not focused on the crux of the matter but on the unconstitutional nature of legislation withholding state contracts from media barons. The ESR last month said that its decision to block the contracts from Aktor were due to the firm’s ties to media baron Giorgos Bobolas. BRIDGE VANISHES Thieves make off with iron overpass Unidentified scrap metal thieves dismantled a bridge that used to connect agricultural farmland on the Filippi plain in the prefecture of Kavala and made off with it, probably in a truck, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. Local farmers must now walk between 10 and 40 kilometers to reach their fields, the ANA said. Aegean violations Six formations of Turkish fighter jets yesterday violated Greek national air space 19 times in the northern, central and southern Aegean. The 15 Turkish jets were chased off by Greek aircraft and there was one simulated dogfight. Two of the Turkish aircraft were photo-reconnaissance Phantoms which flew 12 miles southeast of Rhodes. It was the sixth in a series of violations in just over a week. Bank profits The country’s largest bank, National Bank of Greece (NBG) yesterday reported a 25.3 percent rise in nine-month net after-tax profits. Bus crash A bus driver crashed into a car in central Athens shortly after 5 a.m. yesterday and subsequently lost control of the vehicle, crashing into a parked car before smashing into the display window of an electrical goods retailer. The accident occurred at the junction of Tritis Septemvriou and Marni streets. The driver sustained minor injuries. It was unclear whether there were passengers on the bus. Diabetes sufferers There are an estimated 1 million diabetes sufferers living in Greece but only half of them are aware they are diabetic, the president of the National Research Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes and its Complications, Sotiris Raptis, said yesterday. There has been an increase in children aged between 8 and 12 suffering from diabetes, Raptis said ahead of World Diabetes Day on Sunday. Debt reprieve Citizens have until November 26 to settle overdue tax payments, the Economy Ministry said yesterday. Those who incurred their debt after February 29 are not obliged to pay by this deadline, it added. Turkish visits Turkish authorities have abolished a $50 (40-euro) tax charged to Turks leaving their country by sea to visit Greece for up to 24 hours, Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis told prefects of the Dodecanese and Aegean islands in Athens yesterday. Education funding Universities across the country and the National Library are to receive a total of 6.5 million euros for their contributions to science magazines, the Education Ministry said yesterday. Traffic disruptions There will be traffic disruptions on Kifissou Avenue at the junctions with Iera Odos and Petrou Ralli from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, the Public Works Ministry said yesterday. Traffic will be restricted to two lanes at both junctions, the ministry said.