NEWS

Electronic warfare on cellphone-happy MPs

Their insistent bleep provides a constant irritation in concert halls, cinemas, theaters and churches. But, as Greek MPs were nonplused to discover yesterday, their mobile phones no longer work in the House of Parliament’s main chamber. All attempts to use a mobile phone in the chamber resulted in a message on the screen saying that only emergency calls can be made through a three-digit number. Parliament speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis admitted yesterday that an electronic jamming device has been installed to ensure that debates are not disturbed by the 300 deputies’ ringing mobile phones. «The use of mobile phones has become a scourge, not only in this chamber,» he told MPs, adding that mobiles interfered with the electronic minute-taking system. Kaklamanis has already banned smoking in the chamber. Greek authorities have contacted their Turkish counterparts in order to arrange for the immigrants to be returned.