NEWS

In Brief

MIGRANTS AT SEA

Group of 57 washed up on Aegean islet, another 40 feared to have drowned Greek rescue workers yesterday rescued 57 illegal immigrants from an islet off the southern Peloponnese and were searching for another 40 believed to be lost at sea. According to the would-be migrants found on Antikythera, their smuggling boat foundered in high seas near the islet and not all of them managed to reach the shore. The migrants, mostly Afghans, claimed that another 40 had been aboard the vessel. Traffic problems Strike to affect public transport, teachers to protest in Athens center Much of Athens is expected to come to a standstill today as private and public labor unions take part in industrial action to support striking preschool and primary teachers. There will be no service on the metro and the suburban railway between 11 a.m and 3 p.m. The electric railway will not run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Buses, the tram and trolley buses will not be affected by the strike. Drivers are advised to avoid the city center as a rally is due to begin at Syntagma Square at noon. The striking teachers will be supported by other educators, including senior high school teachers and university lecturers. WATCHDOG BITES ESR slaps 500,000-euro fine on Alpha The National Council for Radio and Television (ESR) yesterday imposed a 500,000-euro fine on Alpha TV after ruling that its journalist Makis Triantafylopoulos had made defamatory comments which were not supported by facts. The investigative reporter alleged a businessman showed him a list of MPs who took bribes. Triantafylopoulos claimed the list included names of Left Coalition Synaspismos deputies, prompting complaints from the party. ESR also fined Alpha, Mega, Antenna, Star and Tele-Asty channels up to 30,000 euros for breaking the law and showing footage of people wearing handcuffs. License to drive The Athens municipal police said yesterday that drivers who have had their car license plates confiscated by officers can now collect them by paying the minimum penalty for the offense they committed. The City of Athens said it was adopting the measure ahead of Sunday’s municipal elections so people who had to drive out of Athens to cast their vote would be able to use their cars. Blast convictions A Piraeus misdemeanors court yesterday passed down jail sentences ranging from 33 to 35 months to eight shipping officials and shipyard inspectors in connection with a tanker explosion in October 2001 that killed five workers at a Salamina shipyard. A total of 12 people had been charged with manslaughter through negligence at the time. Four were exonerated. The eight convicted yesterday bought out their sentences, at a rate of 5 euros a day, and were released pending appeal. Arson attack Unidentified assailants yesterday firebombed a car belonging to the Turkish Embassy that had been parked on Pratinou Street in the central Athenian district of Pangrati. The assailants broke a window of the car, doused the interior with flammable liquid and set it alight. No one was injured in the attack. Car thief Police said yesterday that they had arrested a 41-year-old man suspected of breaking into at least 300 cars in Athens. The Palestinian man allegedly admitted to working with three other men to break into cars for which they had a master key. Some of the thefts have not been reported because the suspects did not leave any signs of a break-in, officers said. The unnamed 41-year-old was released from Korydallos Prison in May after serving eight months in jail for theft. Drunk driver A driver who allegedly drove his car the wrong way down several one-way streets in central Athens early yesterday caused damage to 25 parked vehicles, police said. The 30-year-old Ukrainian man, who was arrested at about 1.30 a.m. at the junction of Aristotelous and Magnesias streets, allegedly refused to submit to an alcohol test and was remanded in custody. Bishops move The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece voted archimandrite Dionysios Mandalos as the new bishop of Corinth yesterday. Archimandrite Ieremias Foundas was voted the new bishop of Gortynia in the Peloponnese.