NEWS

Villagers block power station

Residents of two villages in the northern prefecture of Kozani yesterday blocked conveyor belts carrying coal to the nearby Aghios Dimitrios power station for a second day, calling on the Public Power Corporation (PPC) to honor its alleged promises to hire jobless locals for employment at its plants. Police yesterday remained on standby at the site of the power plant following clashes on Saturday between demonstrators and policemen, who fired tear gas to disperse crowds. Protesters said that four people, including three children, had to be hospitalized after inhaling the tear gas. Police retorted that officers had been attacked by protesters throwing stones at them. Earlier yesterday PPC representatives pledged to hire more Kozani locals, on the basis of a competition. But protesters were unsatisfied. «This is no guarantee for the employment of jobless (locals),» said Ilias Tentsoglidis, the president of an association representing the residents of Ryaki and Aghios Dimitrios villages.