NEWS

In Brief

LOCAL ELECTIONS

Bill aimed at changing way mayors are voted in to be unveiled next week Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said yesterday that the government will unveil a bill to reform the electoral law by the end of next week. The government is proposing that mayors and local officials be elected during the first round of polling if they collect more than 42 percent of the vote. Currently, candidates need more than 50 percent to be elected, often leading to a second round of voting. The bill is likely to be passed into law in time for next October’s local elections. OLYMPIC REACTION OA pilots accuse Aegean of trying to mar plans to save state carrier Olympic Airlines (OA) pilots yesterday accused rival carrier Aegean Airlines of trying to sabotage attempts to save the ailing national carrier. The pilots’ comments followed a recent statement by Lufthansa that it may cooperate with Aegean in handling some of OA’s routes. (Lufthansa stressed that it was not interested in buying a majority stake in OA.) The pilots claimed Aegean had participated in tenders with the aim of lodging complaints against OA with the European Union, not with the interest of an investor. MOBILE RADIATION Vodafone-backed tests see safe levels The electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile telephony aerials across the country ranges between dozens and thousands of times below permitted levels, according to a radiation-monitoring program backed by operator Vodafone. The Hermes program has conducted hundreds of thousands of tests on radiation levels since November 2002, using 19 measuring stations across Greece. The National Technical University of Athens and Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University are in charge of checking the reliability of the test results, which are published on www.hermes-program.gr Hepatitis C The number of Hepatitis C cases is on the rise in Greece, particularly among migrants from the former Soviet Union, according to doctors at the Papanikolaou Hospital in Thessaloniki. Doctors said that 250 patients were treated at the hospital last year suffering from the virus, 100 of whom were from the former Soviet Union. Hunter killed A 33-year-old businessman was killed on Rhodes yesterday after an accident on a hunting trip. The vehicle the man was driving overturned as he was aiming at a bird with his hunting rifle. The businessman, Giorgos Papadimitriou, was taken to a medical clinic with serious injuries and died later. His brother, who had been with him, suffered minor injuries. Eclipse coming An eclipse of the sun will take place on Monday and will be partially visible in Greece from 11.12 a.m. to 2.11 p.m., assuming weather conditions are suitable, the University of Crete said yesterday. Those interested in getting a better look at the eclipse can see it through the university’s telescopes. Experts warned people not to look up into the sun unless they have the right equipment. Albanian attacked Three male suspects, including a minor, have been arrested on suspicion of beating an Albanian migrant and robbing him at knifepoint, police in the northern town of Kozani said yesterday. Two Greek men, aged 25 and 15, allegedly attacked the 28-year-old illegal immigrant and then with the help of two other men, one of whom was Russian, robbed him of 370 euros. Officers are seeking the Russian. The victim is being treated in a Kozani hospital. Lesvos migrants Coast guards picked up 17 illegal immigrants off the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos in two separate incidents, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. In one case, 14 migrants had been dumped on the coast by a trafficker who returned to Turkey before the coast guard could catch him and, in the other, a couple and their child were picked up at sea by a patrol boat. Stabbing attack Police found the body of a 35-year-old Albanian man in an apartment in Kypseli, central Athens, late on Wednesday. The man had suffered multiple stab wounds. No further details were released by police yesterday.