In Brief


Record temperature sends levels of air pollution in Athens soaring The hottest day in the capital so far this year, with the temperature reaching 40 Celsius (104F), sent Athenians in search of shade yesterday but also brought dangerous levels of ground-level ozone to some parts of Athens, the Public Works and Environment Ministry said. The temperature is expected to reach 36C (97F) today, while the ministry advised people to avoid using their cars as much as possible to avoid a further buildup of air pollution. BILL BASHING Debate on labor reforms begins MPs began debating the government’s draft law aimed at introducing more flexible work hours and cheaper overtime yesterday, amid vociferous opposition from PASOK and unions. The government, however, found an ally in the form of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV), which backed the reforms. Parliament also voted in principle yesterday in favor of the bill to extend shop opening hours. EU rap The European Commission yesterday gave Greece two months to explain three laws that Brussels says are incompatible with its regulations on the free movement of capital as they oblige all media firms to have registered shares held by individuals. The laws in question, one of which was passed this year, also limit holdings by foreign companies, under certain restrictions, to under 15 percent of a Greek radio or television company. The EC said this greatly restricts the ability of foreign companies to invest in this market in Greece. Party time Bars, cafes and nightclubs in Greece’s tourist areas will be allowed to open around the clock on Fridays and Saturdays under a pilot scheme unveiled yesterday by the Public Order Ministry. The establishments will be allowed to open at 6 a.m. through to 4.30 a.m. the next morning under the scheme, which was agreed upon after a combined ministerial decision. The extended hours will be in effect until September 30. Sea search Coast guard patrol boats were yesterday combing the waters near the Dodecanese island of Kos after two men from Ivory Coast, one of whom had already drowned, were pulled out of the water on Tuesday. The survivor told authorities that the three men had stowed away on a cargo ship when it left Abidjan on June 15, possibly heading for Ukraine. He claimed the crew discovered the three men and threw them off the vessel near Kos. Trauma award An Athens court yesterday awarded some 2 million euros in damages to the families of two firefighters for the emotional trauma they suffered after the pair were killed when their fire engine fell off a cliff in the southern Athens suburb of Voula six years ago. The court found that the vehicle had been poorly maintained. Arrested again Police arrested a man yesterday in connection with seven armed thefts committed in Thessaloniki in the last 10 days. The man was released just five months ago from prison, where he served a sentence for armed robbery in 2000. Police are looking for his partner, who is said to possess the 15,000 euros stolen from the four supermarkets, two Goody’s fast-food outlets and one betting agency. Partial blackout An electricity blackout on the island of Rhodes occurred yesterday for the second time in a month. The weakened power system was unable to handle the surge in demand after a problem arose with one of the local electricity plants. Engineers turned off the feed to some parts of the island to avoid a more general blackout. No other problems were reported in other parts of the country, however.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.