NEWS

In Brief

TAPPING INQUIRY

Vodafone technical director says spy software was imported The technical director of Vodafone Greece, Nikos Mastorakis, told a parliamentary committee yesterday that there was no way that the software used to eavesdrop on the mobile phones of a number of government officials, including the prime minister, was made in Greece. Mastorakis said that the software was activated at four of Vodafone’s communications centers between August 4 and October 29, 2004, but the mobile company was still not sure how this was done. Mastorakis said it was unlikely that someone installed the software manually and that it was probably done remotely. He said that the software was deactivated at two centers by October 4, 2004. ABDUCTION PROBE Parliament rejects committee to investigate Pakistani claims Parliament rejected late on Monday night a proposal by opposition MPs demanding that a parliamentary committee be set up to investigate allegations that Pakistani migrants were abducted and interrogated by secret agents in Greece last year. The committee will not be formed, as 153 New Democracy deputies voted against the proposal while 122 opposition MPs voted in favor. Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras and Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras asked for the judiciary to be allowed to investigate the matter. WETLAND WARNING Urban growth behind deterioration Many Mediterranean wetlands, including those in Greece, are continuing to deteriorate rapidly, members of the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet) warned at a conference in Athens on Monday. Urban development and tourism are two of the key factors driving this deterioration but implementation of coastal management policies could help reverse the process, according to MedWet. (Page 2) Police paperwork The police will be responsible for issuing all state documents that have security codes and are the target of forgers, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. Police will be in charge of driver’s licenses being issued under stricter EU criteria as the Transport and Public Order ministries are currently in talks concerning procedural issues. The steps required for the issuance of identification cards by police are also expected to be centralized soon, the source added. ADEDY strike The largest civil servants’ union ADEDY and umbrella union GSEE have called a 24-hour strike for tomorrow in support of students opposing the government’s proposed reforms to the tertiary education sector. ADEDY called on its members to take part in a gathering to be held in central Athens at noon on the grounds of Athens University on Panepistimiou Street. Water works A burst water pipe was to blame for a section of Iera Odos collapsing near work on an extension of the metro, the operators Attiko Metro said yesterday. The section of the road, between Kifissos Avenue and Aghia Anni was closed to vehicles, causing traffic congestion in the area. Authorities located the pipe, situated 18 meters underground, and said they were trying to rectify the problem as quickly as possible but traffic police said that the repair work would last about a week. Diversions have been put in place. Illegal immigrants The coast guard detained yesterday five illegal immigrants on board an inflatable dinghy just off the northern coast of the island of Samos. The men, all from Afghanistan, were taken to an immigrant detention center on the island after undergoing medical checkups, authorities said. Bank holdup Two armed robbers held up a branch of Piraeus Bank in Thessaloniki yesterday, making off with more than 38,000 euros, police said. The pair entered the bank in the industrial area of Sindos at around 11.30 a.m. and threatened staff with guns. They made off on a motorcycle, officers said.