NEWS

In Brief

TRANSPORT DISRUPTIONS

Problems on metro, at airport today, eight-hour taxi strike tomorrow A six-hour work stoppage by Athens metro staff from 5 a.m. today may cause disruptions to the network, although train drivers are not striking. Workers are demanding stricter safety standards and more staff. Meanwhile, there will be no taxis on the streets of Athens between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. tomorrow as drivers hold a general assembly ahead of possible strike action seeking access to bus lanes. Passengers planning to fly out of Athens between 9 a.m. today and 9 a.m. tomorrow should reach the airport at least two hours before their flights as a 24-hour strike by security staff will cause delays in baggage checks. AIR-SPACE VIOLATIONS Turkish jet flies over Lemnos Six formations of Turkish fighter jets yesterday entered the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) eight times and violated Greek national air space in the northern and central Aegean nine times. The 12 Turkish jets were chased off by Greek aircraft and there were two simulated dogfights. One Turkish jet flew over the northwestern section of the island of Lemnos at an altitude of 14,000 feet, sources said. Highway improvement The reconstruction and enlargement of the section of the national road network connecting Corinth, Patras and Pyrgos – one of the most dangerous stretches in the country – is due to begin during the first six months of 2006, Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias said yesterday. The project will be undertaken by a private company which will subsequently collect toll charges, Souflias said. TEI protest Heads of the country’s technical colleges (TEIs) yesterday warned that they would strike unless the government immediately provides them with 35 million euros to cover the salaries of about 6,500 TEI teachers on short-term contracts who have been unpaid since September. If the government does not address the problem of TEI funding, the colleges will be obliged to close down, TEI chiefs said at a press conference in Athens. Weather change Temperatures yesterday fell below freezing point in many parts of the country, including the northern suburbs of Athens where some snow fell. The coldest towns yesterday were Florina at minus 6C (21F) and Kato Nevrokopi at minus 5C (23F). Temperatures are expected to rise tomorrow but rain and thunderstorms are forecast for Sunday and Monday. Illegal immigrants Coast guard on Chios on Wednesday detained 38 illegal immigrants who had reached the island in two wooden fishing boats, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. Also yesterday, three suspected illegal immigrants abandoned their car after police stopped them at a village in Florina, abandoning an infant in the vehicle. The baby girl, thought to be about a year old, was being looked after at Florina hospital but was in good health. Pothole A small car stands stuck in a pothole in the Cretan town of Iraklion yesterday, after a broken waterpipe caused the tarmac to subside. Nobody was injured. Drugs destroyed More than a ton of cocaine, 110 kilos of heroin, 700 kilos of cannabis, 38,500 ecstasy tablets and smaller hauls of other drugs, including LSD and tranquillizers, are to be destroyed in the presence of a prosecutor today at the Elefsina steelworks. The drugs had been confiscated in police raids conducted over the past two years.