In Brief


No agreement between unionists and employers over labor reforms A meeting of the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) – representing workers – with the General Confederation of Greek Small Businesses and Traders (GSEVEE) and the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV) – representing business owners – broke down yesterday after the two sides failed to agree on pending labor reforms. Employers insisted on the right to set their staff’s working hours but union bosses did not yield. The two parties agreed to meet again in autumn. CORRUPTION CLAIMS State contractor accused of mismanagement and overcharging The results of an investigation into the practices of Themis Construction company, which has carried out a range of public works contracts since 1997, has been forwarded to a prosecutor because of allegedly corrupt practices, public administration inspectors said yesterday. The company earned some 450 million euros from its state tenders. The inspectors said the tender process had not been followed properly in some cases and accused the firm of mismanaging funds and overcharging. POLICE FIREBOMBING Third suspect remanded in custody An Athens prosecutor yesterday remanded in custody a third person on suspicion of belonging to an anarchist group which firebombed riot police in May and stole some of their equipment. Panayiotis Aspiotis, 27, joins Petros Karaisarinis, 40, and Giorgos Kalaitzidis, 26, in custody. The latter two were arrested while allegedly trying to dump stolen riot police shields in a rubbish bin. All three have been charged with forming a criminal gang, causing explosions and possessing arms. Brush fire Some 27 firefighters, 11 fire engines and 16 soldiers were battling yesterday to put out a brush fire near the village of Areopolis in the southern Peloponnese after flames had scorched 5 hectares of forest and 10 hectares of farmland, authorities said. The blaze broke out Wednesday night but the cause was not known. ND lead An opinion poll conducted by VPRC earlier this week on behalf of Skai radio and made public yesterday put ruling New Democracy 4 percentage points ahead of opposition PASOK with 43 percent as compared to 39 percent for the Socialists. Doctor dealer A doctor who allegedly made money by providing drug addicts in the northwestern town of Ioannina with prescriptions for illegal narcotics has been arrested, police said yesterday. An undercover police officer arrested the unnamed medic after visiting his surgery posing as a drug addict. It was unclear what drugs the alleged prescriptions were for. Soldier killed A 38-year-old British soldier serving in Cyprus died yesterday when his motorbike collided with a pickup truck while he was heading to a military base on the island’s south coast, officials said. His identity is being kept confidential until next of kin have been informed. British base police at Dhekelia are investigating the circumstances of the accident, which involved the victim’s trial bike and a vehicle driven by a Cypriot man who was treated for concussion. (AFP) Boy safe A 7-year-old boy was found unhurt yesterday after getting lost and spending a night in a forest in Grevena, northern Greece. Local villagers, firefighters and the police conducted an overnight rescue operation which located the child early yesterday morning. Hash haul Police found 23 kilos of cannabis yesterday after conducting a search on a parked car in Harilaou, Thessaloniki. Two men, aged 49 and 39, were arrested in connection with the drug haul. Sea chase Coast guards from Lavrion, southwest of Athens, boarded a motorized fishing boat with eight suspected illegal immigrants on board after a chase lasting several hours, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The chase took place during the early hours of Wednesday morning and several coast guard patrol boats were involved. The nationality of the eight men was not revealed but authorities said the name of the vessel was written in Arabic characters.

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