NEWS

In Brief

ELA TRIAL

Serifis was at work at time of Athens bus blast in 1994, unionists tell court Defense witnesses in the trial of Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) terror group suspect Yiannis Serifis yesterday maintained that the 67-year-old trade unionist could not have participated in a fatal bomb attack on an Athens bus in 1994, since he had been at work at the time. A senior policeman was killed during the attack on the riot bus in Perissos. The defendants, unionists representing trolley bus workers, ruled out the possibility of someone else having clocked into work on Serifis’s behalf. In 2003, Serifis was cleared of membership in the November 17 terror group. KEP ACTIVITY Visits double in a year The number of citizens who conducted transactions at the country’s Citizens’ Information Centers (KEPs) more than doubled last month (an increase of 212 percent) as compared to April 2004, Deputy Interior Minister Apostolos Andreoulakos said yesterday. In Attica alone, 148,369 citizens visited KEPs for their transactions as compared to 70,098 in April 2004, Andreoulakos said. More than 50,000 citizens use the country’s 950 KEPs daily, he added. Canteen prices The government will not smile kindly upon violations of new price ceilings for certain products on sale at canteens and snack bars in niche markets such as airports and archaeological sites, Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said yesterday. Last week’s decision by the ministry imposed maximum prices on nine products, including coffee and sandwiches, at such retail outlets. Inspections are already under way, Papathanassiou said. Religious fervor Hardline Orthodox believers marched through central Athens yesterday in protest at a pan-religious conference taking place in the capital. Protesters denounced as «heretical» the World Council of Churches summit, which is expected to discuss ways of seeking greater common ground between different faiths as well as debating issues such as same-sex partnerships and the role of gay pastors. School fees School fees for private schools will rise by 3.21 percent for all classes of kindergarten, primary and secondary school except the first, Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said yesterday. Price increases for pupils in the first classes are to be set out on the ministry’s website – ypan.gr – in due course, Papathanassiou said. Court disruption Court proceedings are to be disrupted between noon and 1 p.m. next Wednesday and Thursday, and on Monday May 23 as the country’s judges and prosecutors embark upon a series of work stoppages in protest at mass transfers of judicial officials and the introduction of new legislative provisions aimed at speeding up the course of justice. Judges are also due to stage a two-hour strike on Tuesday May 24. Salmonella deaths Acute food poisoning caused by the salmonella bacterium triggered the heart attacks that killed two Cretan brothers in Iraklio following a family meal on May 3, a local prosecutor said yesterday. The victims were identified as Costas, 45, and Themistoclis Veloudakis, 48. Another two family members are being treated for food poisoning.