NEWS

Airline caterer goes down badly with navy

A pilot program to delegate cookhouse duties in the armed forces to private caterers went badly awry on its fifth day this week, with scores of newly conscripted sailors coming down with gastroenteritis after lunch at a navy training camp. Reports yesterday said that 240 of the 800 fresh navy conscripts at the camp on the island of Poros, off the northeastern Peloponnese, had to be hospitalized on Tuesday after suffering diarrhea, vomiting and intense stomach pains. The meal of spaghetti carbonara and salad was prepared by Olympic Catering, the company that caters to Greece’s chronically ailing state airline, Olympic Airways, and has won the tender for the Poros camp. Navy sources commented that it was just a pilot program, based on which final decisions will be made on who will cook for the navy. In December, Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou announced plans to transfer traditional military pastimes such as cookhouse, latrine and general cleanliness duties to private companies. Both command enough support in the party’s Steering Committee to block any candidate favored by the other side.