NEWS

In Brief

BANK STRIKE

Unions call 24-hour action seeking a single auxiliary pension fund Bank customers are likely to experience difficulties in their transactions on Monday due to a 24-hour, nationwide strike called by the Greek Federation of Bank Employees’ Unions (OTOE). Protesters are demanding the creation of a single auxiliary pension fund for bank employees and are objecting to plans by some banks to create their own separate funds, whose potential viability OTOE disputes. COURT CORRUPTION Minister briefs PM on judicial probe Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras yesterday briefed Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on the progress of a probe into alleged corrupt practices by judges and is on Monday to announce measures aimed at cracking down on corruption in the judiciary. Also yesterday, disciplinary proceedings were launched against court of first instance judges Tonia Ilia and Leonidas Stathis, as well as another two judges. The Bishop of Ileia, Germanos, and journalist Stelios Vorinas testified in connection with the probe. Migrant abuse Police in Attica said yesterday that they had arrested four suspected members of a people-trafficking ring after finding 20 illegal immigrants in a derelict house in Kolonos. Police believe the suspected traffickers deprived the migrants of food and water and demanded 2,500-3,000 euros from their relatives to release them. The three Iraqis and one Tunisian allegedly threatened to sell the migrants to foreign criminals. The migrants – 10 Iraqis, seven Syrians, two Sudanese and a Nigerian – are thought to have been brought to Greece by other ring members. Athletes to testify Greece’s disgraced sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, who were forced to pull out of last summer’s Olympics after failing to attend a mandatory drugs test, are today due to appear before a national sports tribunal on charges of violating doping rules. Kenteris and Thanou face a two-year ban if found guilty by the Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics (SEGAS). Greek-German ties Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and his German counterpart Joschka Fischer yesterday met in Thessaloniki where they discussed bilateral relations, European Union affairs, including fiscal issues, and developments in Iraq, Iran, the Middle East and Kosovo. Bilateral relations are «of an exceptional level,» they agreed. On Thursday, Fischer had expressed his country’s «great shame» at the Nazi massacres at Distomo, Hortiatis and Kalavryta during a memorial for Holocaust victims in Thessaloniki. Euro 2012 European soccer’s governing body UEFA yesterday received Greece’s formal application to host the Euro 2012 championships, the Hellenic Soccer Federation (EPO) said. Troubled water The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) yesterday called for French bottled water trading under the name Contrex to be withdrawn from the market for allegedly violating labeling regulations and misleading consumers. EFET objected to the use of phrases such as: «Contrex – my dieting mate» and others presenting the product as indispensable for slimmers. The water is safe to drink, according to tests carried out by the General State Laboratory. Immigrants protest Indian immigrants working in Greece yesterday staged a protest outside their embassy in Athens, complaining about the way in which embassy officials handle documents which they require to stay in the country.