Municipal staff call off strike after deal with ministry Street cleaners yesterday called off ongoing strike action that had been threatening to transform major cities into trash dumps after unionists and Interior Ministry officials reached a compromise. Street cleaners and other municipal employees had been demanding a minimum 1,300-euro monthly wage for members as well as higher bonuses and benefits. It was unclear to what extent their demands had been met. Street cleaners, who ended a 48-hour strike yesterday, had threatened to embark on open-ended action before Christmas. CO2 EMISSIONS Greece one of four EU states that will ‘not be ready’ for bloc’s trading system Greece, Poland, Italy and the Czech Republic will be the only European Union states that will not be ready to participate in the European Union’s trading system for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions which is to be launched on January 1, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said yesterday. The European Commission is to approve national plans for the provision of CO2 emission licenses to manufacturers submitted by Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Hungary and Lithuania on December 22, Dimas said. ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS Three drown, one missing off Samos Samos coast guards yesterday recovered the bodies of three Afghan illegal immigrants who drowned off the island after their boat sank before dawn. Another 13 migrants believed to have been on the same wooden boat that had set sail from Turkey were detained. Among them is a Turk thought to be the group’s smuggler. One more migrant was yesterday still missing. The coast guard was alerted to the sinking by two passengers who swam to shore. Samina indictments Five of the seven people charged in connection with the Express Samina shipwreck that killed 82 people in September 2000 have been indicted to trial on misdemeanor charges, following a decision by the Council of Aegean Appeals Court Judges made public yesterday. The other two are to be tried on felonies. The five – crew members and shipping firm officials – had their charges reduced from felonies to misdemeanors in October after judges decided that a law on premeditation had been misinterpreted. No trial date was given. Heavy slight A 38-year-old man was yesterday charged with the murder of a 27-year-old whom he allegedly shot in a Lesvos bar after being refused a light for his cigarette. Christoforos Tiropolis allegedly went to get his gun from his car after the bar owner’s son, Polyzos Georgios, refused to light his cigarette. He then returned and shot Georgios dead, according to witnesses, who said Tiropolos had been drinking in the bar for hours. Police said they found him asleep in his car outside his home. Soccer awards European champions Greece have been voted soccer team of the year by the readers of World Soccer magazine. Readers of the magazine also voted Greek team coach Otto Rehhagel, 65, as the second-best coach of the year, after Jose Mourinho, who led FC Porto to the Champions League title before securing Chelsea a five-point lead at the top of the British Premier League. Party chief The Synaspismos Left Coalition party is to elect a new president to replace Nikos Constantopoulos tomorrow night at the conclusion of its fourth congress. The three candidates for the post are Alekos Alavanos, Michalis Papayiannakis and Christoforos Papadopoulos. Blind love A Thessaloniki court yesterday issued a three-year suspended jail sentence to a 45-year-old married man for forcing his 29-year-old blind lover into prostitution. The woman, who failed to convince judges she had decided to become a prostitute to earn the money for an operation to restore her sight, received a two-month suspended jail sentence. The court heard that she had mortgaged the flat she lived in with her bed-ridden mother to help her lover pay for a license to drive a taxi. Psychologists said the woman was totally dependent on her lover.