In brief


Journalists of all media in 24-hour strike today Broadcast media will not carry news bulletins today and there will be no newspapers tomorrow because journalists are holding a 24-hour strike today. The national federation of journalists’ unions (POESY) and the Athens union (ESIEA) called the strike demanding pay increases and a number of institutional changes. They also want owners to sign a collective wage agreement and to apply rules of ethics. ESIEA President Aristides Manolakos yesterday called for a five-day week for journalists and «work conditions that do not exhaust journalists, allow them to work with dignity and do not make them the pawns of expediency.» CYPRUS TALKS Clerides and Denktash meet again amid rumors of Turks arming north Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday continued to discuss the thorny issue of security in their ninth meeting in three weeks of face-to-face talks in Nicosia aimed at ending the island’s division. Meanwhile, in Athens, government spokesman Christos Protopappas yesterday said the alleged provision of military hardware by Turkish-Cypriots to the occupied north of Cyprus «either creates or escalates tensions.» UNTOUCHABLES MPs reject colleagues’ prosecution Parliament yesterday rejected demands to lift the immunity of seven MPs whose prosecution was sought on a colorful range of charges including slander, illegal possession of state forest land and swearing at a soccer referee. An overwhelming majority of MPs voted to maintain the immunity of PASOK MPs Leonidas Grigorakos, Dimitrios Kremastinos and Theodoros Pangalos, and New Democracy MPs Panayiotis Kammenos, Stavros Papadopoulos, Constantinos Tasoulas and Giorgos Tsournos. The 192 MPs present voted on each case separately. Education crisis The government is neglecting state education which is only coping due to teachers’ efforts, members of the Federation of Secondary School Teachers (OLME) claimed after their meeting yesterday. OLME, whose demands include a 25-percent salary increase, starts a 24-hour strike tomorrow with demonstrations planned to start at 11 a.m. in both Athens and Thessaloniki. Cyprus alert Cyprus police and port authorities are on a high state of alert iafter rumors that a large wave of illegal immigrants is heading toward the island, Cypriot authorities said yesterday. Port Police Chief Theodoros Stylianou said he was told eight ships carrying thousands of illegal immigrants had left the ports of neighboring countries by sources which did not divulge the vessels’ destination. Starving birds Hundreds of dead birds, including about 300 pelicans, have been found by locals and wildlife group representatives over the last few days on the Evros River delta following last month’s heavy snowfall and icy temperatures, which hindered their access to food. The plight of the birds, which include pelicans and flamingos, has prompted residents of the village of Ferres, near the Turkish border, to call for a nationwide initiative to raise both awareness and the funds needed to feed the birds. IKA hours Those covered by the Social Security Foundation (IKA) will save time and avoid long lines if they visit IKA offices between 3.30 p.m. and 6 p.m., IKA managers said yesterday. IKA doctors launched a five-day strike yesterday. Clerks on duty during the afternoon will give priority to two services – issuing certificates of employment confirmation to foreigners, and extending and authorizing health coverage booklets. Understaffing has resulted in delays of up to six hours for those visiting IKA offices in the last few months. Soccer results AEK triumphantly advanced to the Greek Cup semifinals yesterday, defeating PAOK 4-0 away. AEK had taken a slim, 2-1 lead in the first leg. It is the first time since 1964 that AEK has eliminated PAOK in a Cup encounter. In another match yesterday, Xanthi defeated Aris 2-1 away to overcome a 1-0 loss at home and advance to the semifinals. Disappointed Aris fans destroyed chairs. Delphi Rally? The Acropolis Rally will not begin in Athens this year but at the ancient site of Delphi, reports said yesterday. The international championship circuit race will be based in Itea, near Delphi, The National Automobile Touring Club (ELPA), sponsors of the 49th Acropolis Rally, said on Tuesday.

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