NEWS

In Brief

EDUCATION- Primary school teachers say 15,000 classrooms needed Hundreds of schoolchildren are attending classes in rented commercial space and are being taught in crowded classrooms because of a lack of space in schools, and thousands are being forced to attend school in the afternoon, according to a statement by the Greek Primary School Teachers’ Federation yesterday. They say another 15,000 classrooms are needed to do away with double shifts at many schools. The federation said it had not ruled out deciding on strike action on September 20 when local union branches will be holding their general assemblies. BUS ACCIDENT Five years for driver blamed for seven soccer fans’ deaths A Larissa court yesterday sentenced a 21-year-old man to five years’ imprisonment for causing the deaths of seven people in an accident on the Athens-Thessaloniki highway in 1999. They found that Ioannis Dogosis, who had been driving a coach filled with PAOK football fans back to Thessaloniki after attending a game in Athens, had been driving without a license. HEALTH SYSTEM Doctors protest disciplining Two senior doctors at the Alexandra maternity hospital are having recourse to the Council of State over disciplinary action taken against them for their participation in the operation of a private clinic. Doctors at state hospitals are not allowed to have a private practice. Cardiologist I. Kanakakis and radiologist X. Dimopoulos have been deprived of their right to promotion. They are invoking the statute of limitations, claiming that they held both posts between September 1991 and December 1993. Although they were reported to the disciplinary committee in 1996, they were not called to testify until March this year and the sanctions were imposed in June. They also claim the disciplinary rulings are illegal, vague and unfounded. Visit canceled. The Izmir Chamber of Commerce yesterday canceled a visit to Thessaloniki that had been scheduled for today. In a letter to Dimitris Bakatselos, head of Thessaloniki’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Izmir Chamber said the visit had been canceled because of the events in the US which provoked an international crisis. Hashish haul. Police yesterday found 600 kilos of hashish in an abandoned truck bearing Albanian license plates on a dirt road off the old Kapandriti-Aghios Stephanos road north of Athens. Another vehicle with Albanian plates was found next to it. The hashish was stuffed in 19 large garbage bags. Police are investigating whether Greek drug dealers are involved. Fraud arrests. Eleven elderly victims of confidence tricksters have recognized three men as the ones who defrauded them of sums of money by claiming it was owed to them by the victims’ relatives for automobile spare parts. Ioannis Liakopoulos, 26, Ioannis Kamberis, 22, and Giorgos Giorgopoulos, 25, have been charged with seeking out elderly people living alone in Athens and persuading them to part with their money. Over six months, they managed to embezzle over 5 million drachmas. More than 60 people have pressed charges at various police stations around Athens. Ozone hole. The atmosphere over Greece has lost 8-9 percent of its protective ozone layer, and ultraviolet radiation has risen by 10 percent, according to Professor Christos Zerefos of Thessaloniki University and secretary of the International Ozone Commission. In a statement to mark World Ozone Day, on September 16, he said that even more worrying was the increase in ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation by about 15 percent, which damages human DNA and increases the likelihood of skin cancers and eye cataracts. Customs adviser. A Customs Advisory Bureau is to open in Thessaloniki, Finance Undersecretary Apostolos Fotiadis announced yesterday at a meeting with board members of the Exporters’ Association of Northern Greece (SEBE). The bureau will open some time this year. Army visit. Chief of the Army General Staff Lt. Gen. Giorgios Antonakopoulos paid an official visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina on September 10-11, it was announced yesterday. Antonakopoulos met with the defense ministers and chiefs of staff in both the Bosnian-Serb and the Croat-Moslem areas and visited the Greek forces participating in the peacekeeping mission in the country.