NEWS

In Brief

RUBBISH STRIKE

Municipal workers resume action, repeat demands for pay, benefits Street cleaners and other municipal workers today begin a series of 48-hour strikes, following a decision by union leaders who demand equal pay for permanent and contract workers, collective work contracts for 2002, and the payment of bonuses and retirement lump sums. The workers, whose December strike resulted in piles of rubbish all over Athens, say their action will continue until their demands are met by the Interior Ministry which has taken the matter to court, asking that the strike be declared illegal. IKA STRIKE Defiant doctors plan new action next month Striking Social Security Foundation (IKA) doctors on short term contracts yesterday decided to hold two more five-day strikes next month, saying they would confirm the exact dates after consulting with other unions. A five-day strike launched by IKA doctors on Tuesday was deemed illegal by an Athens court yesterday prompting the civil servants’ union (ADEDY) to support the doctors by calling its own strike through Monday. ARMY DRUGS DEATH Conscript found dead in border unit The death on Wednesday night of a conscript found unconscious in the barracks of his infantry unit near the northern village of Ferres in Thrace, close to the Turkish border, was yesterday attributed to drugs by an army statement. Stamatios Zamvetas, 21, was found in a bathroom with a syringe and other drug paraphernalia and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The coroner’s autopsy yesterday confirmed his death from drugs. Three quakes Three earthquakes, measuring 4.4, 4.2 and 4.4 on the Richter scale, occurred in the areas of Pylos, Patras and Nafpaktos yesterday. Seismologists said there was no connection between the first two tremors which both occurred in areas prone to quakes – the first at 10.40 a.m. off the coast of Pylos, in the southwestern Peloponnese, and the second at 11.15 a.m. in the port village of Nafpaktos. The third had its epicenter off the coast of Antirio at 8.20 p.m. No damage or injuries were reported. University doctors Athens university doctors yesterday decided to stay away from university clinics for another two weeks, stepping up an ongoing strike. The doctors – protesting at a law that forces them to choose between working for state or private hospitals – are particularly incensed by their treatment in two Athens hospitals, Sotiria and Sismanoglio, from whose clinics they claim to be barred – even in a teaching role. The Council of State will rule next month whether the law is unconstitutional. Lie detector Defendants in the trial of the double murder of businessman Giorgos Nikolaidis and his girlfriend Soula Kalathaki will be submitted to a lie detector test after an Athens court decided yesterday that it would consider the test results along with other evidence. Panayiotis Krambis, Theodoros Krallis and Mania Horaitou – three of the eight people charged in connection with the November 1997 murders – have requested the lie detector test themselves. New offices The Olympic Games organizing committee Athens 2004 yesterday began an office move from its old site on Kifissias Avenue to a new address at the old Moutalaski textiles factory in the northwest municipality of Nea Ionia – chosen for its larger space, greater proximity to the Olympic Stadium and cheaper rent. It is expected to take five days for the 900 staff to be installed. The new offices are to house 3,500 employees by summer 2004. Anti-casino protest Environmentalists demonstrated in central Athens yesterday, protesting against the planned extension of a casino across 310 hectares of the woodland in the Mount Parnitha national park. Members of the Coordinating Committee for the Preservation of Parnitha protested outside the offices of property developer Hellenic Tourist Properties, on Voulis Street near Syntagma, saying the plans of the state tourist office subsidiary are illegal. Clash A 15-year-old boy was hospitalized yesterday following a clash between a group of Albanians and some schoolboys from Nea Liosia, northwest Athens, who were on an outing to the forest in the neighboring district of Nea Philadelphia. An 18-year-old Albanian allegedly hit the boy in the face with brass knuckles after the pupils refused to turn down their stereo. The Albanian was arrested.