In Brief


Warders accuse their chief of failing to protect murdered prisoners A group of warders at the capital’s Korydallos prison yesterday wrote to the Justice Ministry accusing chief warder Antonis Aravantinos of failing to protect two convicts who were murdered in prison during the past two months. The letter, which bore no individual signatures, called Aravantinos a «godfather,» accused him of maintaining suspicious ties with specific convicts, called for an investigation into his assets, and said he should have resigned after the murders. UNIVERSITY STRIKE Professors call two-day action, seek pay and pension increase University professors are to hold a 48-hour strike next Tuesday and Wednesday while union leaders try to convince Education Minister Petros Efthymiou to deliver on pledges to raise salaries and pensions, unionists said yesterday. Unionists say professors with over 35 years of service under their belt should merit an increase of up to 200,000 drachmas in their annual salary and 167,500 drachmas in their pension. LATE MAIL Post office fined for delays The postal service has been fined 200,000 euros (68.1 million drachmas) for failing to deliver international mail on time, the National Committee of Telecommunications and Posts (EETT) said yesterday. The post office only delivered between 31 percent and 57.2 percent of first-class mail from Europe within a three-day period, said the regulator. Mail from Finland, Ireland, Iceland and Norway was the worst affected, said EETT, adding that this is the post office’s third such fine in two years. Soldiers injured Nineteen Cypriot soldiers were injured during a military exercise on the outskirts of Nicosia yesterday after a rifle grenade apparently went off by accident. None of the injuries were serious. Another soldier, with the Greek army contingent on Cyprus, was seriously wounded earlier yesterday when he hit an unexploded mortar shell while digging a trench during an exercise near the town of Larnaca. Armenia-Cyprus row A military cooperation accord between Cyprus and Armenia was described as destructive to ongoing peace negotiations in a statement issued yesterday by officials in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus. The pact was signed in Nicosia last week between Armenian Defense Minister Serge Sarkissian and his Cypriot counterpart Socrates Hasikos. Commemorative drachma Those wanting to preserve the memory of the drachma – which finally gives way to the euro today – can spend 230 euros (78,372 drachmas) on a commemorative golden drachma coin, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. The collector’s item will have the same markings as the last one-drachma coin in circulation but will be twice the size and made of gold, said the ministry which is issuing 10,000 coins. Collectors can make their subscriptions – for one coin each – from Monday at branches of the Bank of Greece. Shortchanged Compensation payments ranging between one and 44 euros have enraged farmers from the village of Theopetra, near Meteora in central Greece, who were expecting a substantially larger amount from the Agriculture Ministry’s farmers’ fund to make up for crop damage they suffered during hailstorms last August. Short-changed farmers call the pay-out «a mockery.» Unhappy village Construction workers at the Olympic Village site yesterday staged a 24-hour strike to protest against inadequate health and safety regulations on the work sites in Thrakomakedones, on the northwestern outskirts of Athens, which they say resemble «prison conditions.» Union demands include stricter work supervision, more toilets and more drinking water. Swans killed A policeman arrested on Tuesday for killing two swans after shooting at dozens of the birds on the coast of Astakos, near Messolongi, faced a prosecutor yesterday. Patras policeman Grigoris Boukouvalas, 43, told fellow officers he thought he was firing at ducks. Lemnos Aegean Minister Nikos Sifounakis yesterday sought to appease citizens of Lemnos – protesting at inadequate ferry connections between the northeastern Aegean island and the rest of Greece – by approving a second ferry route to connect Lemnos with the northern port of Kavala.

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