NEWS

In Brief

ATHENS STANDSTILL

No public transport today due to 24-hour strike by unions There will be no public transportation in Athens today because of a 24-hour strike being organized by the Civil Servants’ Union (ADEDY) and the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE). Taxis will be operating in the city, but buses, trains, trolley buses, the tram and the metro will all be at a standstill throughout the day. Some 50 Olympic Airlines domestic and international flights have also been canceled and passengers are advised to call the airline for further information. Hospitals will be operating on skeleton staff. Unionists will hold their central rally in Kotzia Square from 11 a.m. to protest over labor rights and social security reforms. A march to Syntagma Square will follow. COSMOTE PURCHASE Deal done to buy 42 percent of mobile telephony retailer Germanos Cosmote Mobile Telecommunications said yesterday that it has signed a deal to buy a 42 percent stake in mobile telephony retailer Germanos at a price of 19 euros per share in a deal that will help support its expansion plans abroad. State controlled Cosmote said that it will launch a public offer for the remaining shares of Germanos after August. The prospect of a deal had first been made public on Friday. BANK HACKERS Three arrested for illegal transfers Three Greeks who broke bank customers’ online passwords and transferred money from their accounts to associates in Russia have been arrested, police said yesterday. The three men, from Athens, Corinth and Iraklion, hacked into the accounts of several customers from Alpha Bank and the National Bank of Greece. Officers did not reveal how much money the men had allegedly transferred from the accounts but said that a percentage of the loot was wired to other suspects in Russia, where officers think the operation initiated. Royal visit Britain’s Prince Charles is to travel to the monastic community of Mount Athos in northern Greece for a three-day visit, authorities said Tuesday. Charles is expected to visit this week, a police official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak on such matters. He gave no further information. Charles, the heir to the British throne, has made several trips to the all-male Orthodox community, which has 20 monasteries. Both Charles and his father, Prince Philip, are members of the Friends of Mount Athos, a group that supports the self-governing community. (AP) Pakistani PM Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz will begin a four-day visit to Greece on Sunday, alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said yesterday. He said the Pakistani premier had been invited to Athens by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to discuss international and regional matters as well as bilateral issues. Scratching around Vandals damaged 12 cars and three motorcycles parked off Alexandras Avenue in central Athens early yesterday morning, police said. The vandals smashed mirrors and used sharp objects to scratch the vehicles’ paintwork. The incident occurred at around 4 a.m., police said. No arrests were made. Armed robberies A three-member gang is suspected of conducting three armed robberies within 35 minutes in Athens northern suburbs on Monday night, police said yesterday. The men held up a bakery, a gas station and a grocery store at gunpoint, making away with a total of 2,000 euros. No one was hurt in the incidents. Fire hire The Attica Fire Service said yesterday that it was looking to hire 540 more firefighters. Anyone interested in applying for one of the positions should submit the necessary paperwork between May 22 and June 2. Only Greek nationals can apply, while women have to be over 1.65 meters tall and men over 1.70 meters tall. Authorities this month began planning how to coordinate efforts before the peak season for forest fires hits this summer.