In Brief


Workers to strike on Feb. 21, 28 to push pension reform demands Unionists representing the country’s bank employees yesterday called 24-hour strikes for Monday, Feb. 21 and 28 to push workers’ demands for pension reform. The Greek Federation of Bank Employees’ Unions (OTOE) also said it would coordinate its action with workers from public sector companies. Unionists said they would resume negotiations only if the Economy Ministry withdraws its proposal to workers which they believe «reveals a will to demolish pension rights.» OTOE is pushing for the creation of a single auxiliary pension fund. KYOTO PROTOCOL PM calls for state and private support in efforts to protect environment Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday called upon the support of local authorities as well as state and private organizations to boost environmental protection as the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations’ treaty against global warming, came into effect. «Greece actively participates in this initiative in the belief that addressing and promoting issues pertaining to environmental protection is not merely a component part of our modern civilization but also a criterion of its quality,» Karamanlis said. STOA OF ATTALOS Ministry spoils firm’s party plans Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis has rejected a request by the Vodafone mobile phone firm manufacturer to hold a dinner for 150 of its managers at the Stoa of Attalos, the ministry said yesterday. The request had initially been approved by the ministry’s Central Archaeological Council, which set a fee of 100,000 euros. The group is to be allowed to visit the site of the Ancient Agora at a time when it is closed to the public and will be served refreshments in the open air to the strains of a harp, the ministry said. The firm will have to pay a 2,000-euro fee. Tsunami aid Greece’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Adamantios Vassilakis, yesterday gave UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan a check for 10 million euros – from the Greek government and public – to go toward helping the victims of the Boxing Day tsunami in Southeast Asia. Evros rising Authorities in Thrace were on standby yesterday after the rain-swollen Evros River came close to breaking its banks. Farmers were advised to move animals and agricultural machinery away from dangerous areas after a dyke broke near the village of Psathades, flooding 200 hectares of land. The area of Koufovouno was also flooded. Yesterday morning, the river rose 5.3 meters above the standby level. Change of guard Vice Admiral Panayiotis Hinofotis, 55, yesterday officially took over as the new head of Greece’s Joint Chiefs of Staff during a ceremony at the Evelpidon Military Academy which was attended by his predecessor, Giorgos Antonakopoulos. The chief problem faced by Greece in the unstable region of the Balkans is «threats from its eastern neighbor,» Hinofotis said in a clear reference to Turkey. Malta visit Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos is today due to begin a three-day visit to Malta with a delegation of Cypriot businessmen. Papadopoulos is to meet with his Maltese counterpart Edward Fenech Adami and Malta’s Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi. European capital A new bill foreseeing the establishment of an official organization to prepare Patras as European Cultural Capital for 2006 was yesterday approved by all political parties apart from the Communist Party (KKE). Snow problems Heavy snowfall caused road chaos across the prefecture of Achaia yesterday, especially on the roads to and from Patras and Kalavryta, where travel was impossible without snow chains. Snow cut off several villages in the prefecture of Ioannina yesterday. US Embassy The US Embassy in Athens, the US Consulate in Thessaloniki and other US government offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 21 in observation of Presidents Day, a US national holiday.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.