NEWS

In Brief

STREET CLEANERS

Strike called off after deemed illegal in court Street cleaners and other municipal workers have called off a series of rolling 48-hour strikes that were due to start yesterday after an Athens court found the action illegal late on Thursday. The Interior Ministry took legal action against the planned strike, fearing a recurrence of the piles of rubbish littering the streets of Athens during the workers’ December action. Workers demonstrated in central Athens yesterday before the strike was declared off, visiting Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos who pledged to support their demands which include permanent employment for contract workers. IKA Strike suspended; doctors, government to talk Striking Social Security Foundation (IKA) doctors yesterday accepted a proposal by the civil servants union (ADEDY) to suspend their action so that talks can resume with the Labor Ministry, which has invited the doctors to join negotiations until March 20. IKA doctors have agreed to talk but want the government to address their demands, which include permanency for 5,500 colleagues on open-ended contracts. A 5-day strike launched by the doctors on Tuesday was deemed illegal by a same-day court ruling, prompting ADEDY’s support. AFGHAN FORCE Another 70 troops leave on Monday The deployment of the Greek contingent joining the British-led security force in Afghanistan will continue on Monday with another 70 troops being sent to Kabul along with vehicles and earth-moving machinery, an army announcement said yesterday. Greece has already sent 49 troops – including special forces and engineers – to Afghanistan. There will be 177 Greek troops in Kabul by the beginning of March. Dolphins migrate Hellas Flying Dolphin hydrofoils will be docking at the port of Piraeus as of 6 a.m. on Friday, March 1, following a move from Marina Zeas which has served as its departure point until now, the shipping firm said yesterday. The firm decided to move last December following a 250-percent hike in harbor fees imposed by property developers Hellenic Tourist Properties who took over the management of the marina last June. Antiquities ‘trader.’ Police have confiscated two ancient statues and 16 Byzantine-era coins from a man they believe intended to sell the artifacts, The Associated Press reported yesterday. Police discovered the artifacts following a raid on the home of Pandelis Semertzidis, 44, in the town of Kalamata in the southern Peloponnese. Archaeologists say the statues probably date between the third and first centuries BCs. Confused migrants A group of 19 Iraqis and two Syrians who arrived on Cyprus thinking it was Italy were arrested by police yesterday. The migrants told police they had swum ashore after the captain of the ship on which they were traveling – at the cost of $3,000 dollars each – dropped them 100 meters off the island’s southeastern coast, telling them they had reached Italy. Power failure A Greek firm awarded a public contract by the EU to develop alternative energy sources must repay the European Commission nearly 10 million drachmas (over 29,000 euros) after allegedly failing to implement any parts of the contract awarded in 1985, the European Court of Justice said yesterday. Nea Energiaki Technologia EPE (NET) failed to install a 300-kilowatt wind energy converter on the island of Kea, the court said. NET had agreed to pay back the 29,000 euros of the 38,000 euros (13 million drachmas) it had received but failed to meet a May 1990 deadline. Nurse’s suit A woman cleared of causing the death of her son through neglect yesterday filed a suit with a Thessaloniki prosecutor against the forensic surgeon involved in her case. Theodora Soufhara, 47, has asked for the prosecution of surgeon Dimitris Psaroulis whom she claims lied in order to advance his medical career when he said the death of her son, aged 9, in 1994 was due to hypoglycemia. The doctor’s testimony resulted in Theodora Soufhara being charged with endangering the life of a minor, for which she spent 17 months on remand and as a result of which her daughter was removed from her custody and placed in an orphanage. Soufhara is also seeking compensation.