NEWS

In Brief

HUGE HASH HAUL

Albanian arrested at border with four tons Police at Kakavia, the main border crossing with Albania, yesterday confiscated an estimated four tons of marijuana from the tank of a gas-transporting truck which was destined for Athens with an Albanian national at the wheel. The 40-year-old driver, who was also carrying an assault rifle and an ancient marble relief in his vehicle, has not been named. OLYMPIC STRIKE Staff call for action as they cling to jobs The staff of Olympic Airways (OA), at loggerheads with the government over the fate of the chronically ailing state carrier, will hold two three-hour protest strikes next Tuesday, the Federation of Olympic Airways Unions (OSPA) decided yesterday. OA staff do not oppose the government’s plans to restructure the airline if they can keep their jobs, OSPA said. The government wants OA to shed 2,000 personnel. Meanwhile, following a Greek government request, the European Union Commission has postponed for next week today’s scheduled session that was to investigate whether Greece has broken EU regulations by providing illegal state funding to the airline. DUTCH PAINTERS Athens exhibition opens today An exhibition of 17th century Dutch art – comprising 80 works on loan from the museum of Dordrecht – opens today at the Athens National Art Gallery and runs until May 19. «The Golden Age of Dutch painting – the Dordrecht Museum Collection» displays the work of many of Rembrandt’s pupils including Ferdinand Bol, Arent de Gelder, Samuel van Hoogstraten, Jan van Goyen and Albert Cuyp. Illegal immigrants Evia coast guard officials yesterday brought ashore about 130 illegal immigrants from a Greek fishing boat they had earlier spotted adrift off the island’s southern coast, and arrested the three Greek crew members – Giorgos Patsakis, Petros Kavouris and Giorgos Dionysopoulos. The immigrants, whose nationalities are not yet known, were taken to the southern port of Karystos. Judges protest Judges and prosecutors, who object to proposed legislation that would restrict their constitutionally guaranteed right of appeal, will demonstrate at the Athens appeal court offices tomorrow, unionists said yesterday. Unionists claim their right to appeal to the Supreme Court plenary session should not only be protected from restrictions but should be reinforced. Lemnos strike Schools, shops and local authority offices were shut on Lemnos yesterday as residents of the northeastern Aegean island staged a protest against their island’s inadequate ferry connections with the rest of Greece. The only ship currently serving Lemnos takes 24 hours to get there, while ferry firms have expressed no interest in serving the island after the coastal shipping market deregulation on January 1. Fatal diagnosis An appeals court has ordered a state hospital in northern Greece to pay 50 million drachmas (146,700 euros) in compensation to a family from Evros whose 15-month-old baby died after doctors failed to confirm the parents’ correct diagnosis of the child’s ailment, reports said yesterday. Doctors at Didymoteicho Hospital in Thrace told Fatme Tzaferoglou that her child, who was struggling for breath, could not have had a bean trapped in its lungs, as Tzaferoglou claimed, as it would have been in a worse state. An autopsy eventually confirmed the mother’s original diagnosis after the child died while being shuttled between Didymoteicho Hospital and a private pediatrician. Acropolis Rally Organizers of the Acropolis Rally yesterday changed their mind about where to start this year’s event. Earlier this month they had broken with tradition, deciding to move the starting point of the 49th rally – to be held from June 13 to 16 – away from Athens to the ancient site of Delphi. But the organizing committee president said yesterday the rally will start in Athens after all,. Bag snatching The wife of Education Minister Petros Efthymiou had her bag stolen on Monday night by two unidentified robbers, who broke into her car which she had briefly left at a junction in the northeastern suburb of Halandri. Anastasia Paretzoglou-Efthymiou lost 1,200 euros and her credit cards.