NEWS

In Brief

AIRPORT HALT

Court orders expansion work in Thessaloniki to stop until trial The Council of State has frozen a Public Works Ministry project to expand Macedonia Airport in Thessaloniki in a decision made public yesterday. Locals oppose the project, which will see the airport reach the sea, arguing that it will damage the local environment. «We are for the upgrading of the airport, however, we believe that our areas will be downgraded if the extension happens in the way which has been announced,» said Thermaikos Mayor Antonis Matzaris. The court will hear the case next week. KOS ECSTASY Police arrest four over smuggling of drugs onto the island from Belgium Four men aged between 22 and 35 were arrested on the eastern Aegean island of Kos in connection with the importation of some 1,700 ecstasy pills, police said. The drugs were sent to the island in two packages from Liege in Belgium. After a tip-off from Belgian police, Greek officers were waiting for the men when they went to pick up the packages. SMOKE SIGNALS Tobacco workers take over factory Workers from the tobacco firm Keranis took over the company’s production facilities in Piraeus (photo) yesterday demanding the firm pay them the three months of wages they say they are owed. The workers will continue the takeover until Monday and said yesterday they will take legal action against the company. Shot fired Employees at the social security fund for professional drivers (TSA) were ducking for cover at their office in central Athens yesterday when a man entered the sixth floor of the building asking to see an employee whom nobody had heard of. When staff asked him to leave, a scuffle broke out and the man pulled out a gun and fired a shot in the air. He escaped the scene by motorbike. Proastiakos changes The Athens metro’s Line 3 (Monastiraki-Airport) routes will be changed as of Monday due to work being conducted on the Proastiakos suburban railway. The schedule of the Proastiakos trains will also be altered, railway authorities said yesterday. The new timetables have been posted at the stations. Kurd murdered A 23-year-old Kurdish man, Ibrahim Haidar, was murdered at his apartment near Vathis Square in central Athens early yesterday, police said. Haidar was stabbed repeatedly, according to officers. His unnamed flatmate, also 23, only suffered minor injuries to his hand. Police believe the murder was carried out by Kurds looking to settle scores with Haidar. Forgery ring Three suspects, including an employee of the Piraeus municipal police, have been arrested on suspicion of printing false documents which they sold to migrants applying for residence permits, authorities said yesterday. The men were aged 65, 40 and 27. Two are Greek and the other is a foreign national but officers did not provide further details. Samos migrants Police said they caught 15 illegal immigrants on the northeastern Aegean island of Samos yesterday morning. The men were transferred to the island’s holding center, which already houses 140 illegal immigrants, authorities said. Planetarium plans The Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum, which also houses the planetarium, will be fully functional by the second half of 2006 after the Development Ministry said yesterday it had approved 10 million euros in funding.