In Brief


29 employees whose contracts were terminated can keep their jobs A group of 29 contract workers of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE), who took legal action after OTE failed to renew their contracts, are entitled to keep their jobs, an Athens court of first instance ruled yesterday. The workers’ contracts should have been open-ended from the outset as they had been hired to fulfill permanent needs at the company, according to the ruling. Moreover, OTE had pursued a policy of repeatedly renewing the workers’ contracts which essentially made them permanent staff, the court ruled. UNFAIR JAILING Compensation bid wins backing An appeal for compensation by a woman who received two life sentences in 1991 for the murder of her parents, to be released in 1997 when the real killers were found, should be accepted at least in part, a Council of State rapporteur proposed yesterday to the court’s first section. Voula Katsafarea’s suit for 1.5 million euros for unfair imprisonment had been rejected by two lower courts. More cars A total of 374,056 new and second-hand cars were registered for the first time in Greece between January and December last year, a 15.5 percent increase compared to 2003, the National Statistics Service said yesterday. The number of newly registered motorcycles on the roads last year increased by 21.4 percent to 79,635, the service added. Suspicious vehicle Authorities went on high alert on Friday after a suspicious car seen outside the residence of a US diplomat in Kifissia, northern Athens, was found to have been stolen, a police source old Kathimerini yesterday. The diplomat’s residence was close to the home of Britain’s military attache, whose police guard was gunned down on New Year’s Eve, in what is considered to have been a terrorist attack. Hit-and-run A 38-year-old farmer from Tyrnavos yesterday turned himself in to Larissa traffic police, saying he was the driver who fatally injured a 16-year-old youth in the central town early on Sunday before driving off. Schoolboy Dimitris Katsarelis was knocked down shortly after 2 a.m. on Sunday on his way home from a night out. Police did not identify the driver. Fischer visit German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer is to visit Thessaloniki on January 27 to commemorate the tens of thousands of Greek Jews killed in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday. Fischer is to meet with the president of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Moses Constantines. Parliament declared January 27 an official day of remembrance last January. El Greco «The Baptism of Christ» – painted by Domenikos Theotocopoulos, or El Greco, in Venice between 1567 and 1570 – was yesterday displayed at the offices of the municipal authorities of Iraklion, in Crete, the artist’s hometown. Authorities paid 1.15 million euros to buy the oil painting at an auction in London in December. The paperback-sized work, found in a brown envelope during a routine valuation in Spain last year, is to go on permanent display at the port’s Basilica of Saint Mark later this week. Bithikotsis ‘stable’ Popular singer Grigoris Bithikotsis, 82, was yesterday in stable condition in the intensive-care unit of Athens’s Hygeia Hospital where he underwent surgery last Wednesday for an aneurism. Turkish hackers The website of the Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria, Theodoros, was yesterday back to normal after technicians removed the image of a Turkish flag and anti-Greek slogans that had been posted on the site over the weekend. «Turkish hackers» claimed responsibility for the attack in some of the slogans. Patriarchate officials think the hackers may have been reacting to Theodoros’s remarks in support of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios during a visit to Istanbul.