NEWS

In Brief

FLIGHT DISRUPTIONS

OA passengers to face problems today as staff stage 3-hour strike Today’s three-hour work stoppage by Olympic Airlines’ (OA) flight attendants, in protest at the state carrier’s planned privatization, will disrupt several flights scheduled to leave Athens International Airport from 10 a.m. Four flights – to Paros, Naxos, Rhodes and Chios – will be canceled, and another 13 – including flights to Berlin, Milan, Larnaca, Istanbul, Brussels and Bucharest – are to be rescheduled. Passengers should call OA on 210.966.6666 for details about rescheduled flights. A planned 24-hour strike by Civil Aviation Authority staff on Thursday will also cause disruptions. HOSPITAL PROCUREMENT New cuts ‘will trim costs by a quarter’ A new procurement system for state hospitals – due to be implemented from May 1 – promises to be 25 percent more cost-efficient, Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis said yesterday following talks with Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis. The savings will be possible due to cuts in equipment for heart and orthopedic clinics and artificial kidney units, Kaklamanis said. Forest fire A fire scorched more than 1,000 hectares of pine forest on the island of Evia yesterday, The Associated Press cited authorities as saying. A total of 200 firemen, handling 40 fire engines, were aided by four water-carrying aircraft in their efforts to extinguish the blaze at Lichada, AP said. No homes were threatened by the fire, which is believed to have started at a nearby landfill and was fanned by strong winds. Judges testify Two Court of First Instance presidents, Nikolaos Potamianos and his wife Georgia Lambropoulou, yesterday testified before a Supreme Court prosecutor about their alleged links to a priest thought to have been at the heart of a trial-fixing ring. The judges are alleged to have issued unduly favorable verdicts for Archimandrite Iakovos Yiossakis. Court of First Instance judge Antonia Ilia is to testify on Friday after being granted an extension yesterday. Food checks The Development Ministry yesterday sent a circular to prefectural offices and the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET), asking them to intensify market inspections to avert price hikes on consumer products in the countdown to Orthodox Easter in just under two weeks. Attention should be paid to the quality of fuel sold at gas stations on key road junctions and in tourist areas, the circular said. Court disruptions Courts are to be disrupted tomorrow and on Thursday as the country’s judges and prosecutors stage a series of two-hour work stoppages in protest at the planned mass transfers of judicial officials. Fireworks crackdown A total of 1,127 inspections – conducted across the country between March 1 and April 18 as part of a crackdown on the illegal manufacture, trade and use of fireworks – resulted in the confiscation of over 220,000 fireworks and flares, police said yesterday. Road death A 62-year-old man was killed instantly yesterday after the car he was driving along the Athens-Corinth national road veered off course and was impaled by a roadside barrier. It was unclear what had caused Errikos Korfiatis to lose control of his vehicle. African dust A heavy cloud of dust from North Africa that engulfed many parts of Greece on Sunday, severely reducing visibility, may redescend upon the country on Thursday and Friday, meteorologists said yesterday. However, if the dust cloud does return, it will be less intense than it was on Sunday, weather experts said.