NEWS

A more frequent bus service?

Athens public buses and trolleys will run considerably more frequently as of this winter, the government promised yesterday, heralding plans to hire over 1,000 new drivers. Deputy Transport Minister Spyros Vougias told a press conference that an extra 1,258 new jobs will have been created by the autumn at the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA), of which 1,097 will be drivers. As a result, Vougias said, the Athens bus company will increase its daily runs from 13,700 to 15,000. In Thessaloniki, he said, new bus-only lanes will be created and cameras will be set up to catch drivers who trespass them. Furthermore, the deputy minister said the state bus company will have bought 600 new buses by 2005. Two-thirds of the new vehicles will come into circulation in 2004, he said. Vougias added that the government proposes hiring an extra 800 post office employees, 566 of which will be postmen or drivers. The Turkish-Cypriot TAK news agency quoted Denktash as saying: «This (surgery) is one of the factors in resolving the Cyprus issue at some point.» [Meanwhile, the US special envoy for Cyprus, Thomas Weston, met in Athens yesterday with Foreign Minister George Papandreou. He praised the efforts of Clerides and Denktash.