NEWS

In Brief

AIRPORT STRIKE OFF

Protesting staff postpone to June 1 48-hour action due to start Monday Civil Aviation Authority staff yesterday postponed until June 1 a 48-hour strike they had been due to launch on Monday, saying they did not want to disrupt commuters over the Orthodox Easter week. Unionists threatened to resume strike action when the peak tourist period begins unless managers fulfil their demands for unpaid bonuses from last year. Strike action earlier this week led to the cancellation of dozens of domestic flights. CAR BLAST Hellenikon arsonists had probably vandalized road cameras, police say Arsonists who targeted a car belonging to a Public Works Ministry employee in the Athenian suburb of Hellenikon early yesterday morning had probably been involved in previous attacks on road surveillance cameras, police said. The car was severely damaged after vandals threw a stick of dynamite at the vehicle. The owner of the car, an official from the ministry’s traffic monitoring unit, had defended the use of surveillance cameras during a TV interview earlier this week. REFUGEE REBUFF Greece hinders claims, AI says The Athens office of Amnesty International yesterday accused Greek authorities of hindering immigrants seeking asylum within its borders. Authorities use various excuses «to place obstacles at every stage to claimants’ access to Greek territory and to the asylum procedure,» the organization’s Athens office said. Car age limit The government is considering setting an age limit on passenger cars in Greece so that older vehicles will gradually be withdrawn from the roads, Deputy Development Minister Giorgos Salagoudis said yesterday. He did not specify when such a limit would be set, nor at what level. Racers Two men have been arrested for participating in illegal car races along the coastal road at Varkiza and their vehicles have been impounded, police said yesterday. The two men have been charged with violating the highway code and have been stripped of their licenses for 30 days. Pension talks Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said yesterday that he would start talks on pension reform Tuesday with Labor Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos and the Economic and Social Committee (OKE), comprising members of employer and union groups and local government organizations. Information security Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday oversaw the signing of an agreement between the government and the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) for the agency’s headquarters to be based at the Cretan port of Iraklion. The role of ENISA is to help EU member states tackle and prevent network and information security breaches. Rail link A daily railway link between Istanbul and Thessaloniki will start operating soon, the Athens News Agency yesterday cited the Turkish State Railway Company (TCDD). The agreement to operate two daily routes – Thessaloniki-Istanbul, Istanbul-Thessaloniki- is to be signed in Ankara next month, the ANA said. Mafia arrest A 56-year-old Italian, believed to be a member of the Mafia and an international drug smuggler, has been arrested in Nikaia, police said yesterday. Alvaro Cruziani has been wanted by Interpol since he fled a 10-year jail sentence issued in 2002 by an Italian court. Family affair A 58-year-old man, his 20-year-old son and his 34-year-old daughter have been arrested on suspicion of smuggling heroin into the country from Albania and trading it in Thessaloniki, police said yesterday. Fifteen packages containing 6.5 kilos of heroin were confiscated from a luxury car being used by the Albanian family, police said. Contraband fuel Financial Crime Squad (SDOE) officers have confiscated a total of 86,500 liters of contraband fuel following inspections in the region of Aspropyrgos, the Economy Ministry said yesterday.