NEWS

In Brief

Metro stoppages

Walkouts to disrupt services on six days, starting Friday The service on the Athens metro will be severely disrupted from Friday for six days, due to work stoppages by employees, it was announced yesterday. There will be no trains on Friday, October 17, from noon to 4 p.m., on Saturday from midnight until 2.15 a.m., on Tuesday from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and from 10 p.m. onward, and on Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. There will also be no trains from midnight to 2.15 a.m. on Friday, October 24, and Saturday, October 25. The action is part of an ongoing protest by metro staff who are unhappy that the management has not approved a collective work contract. The employees have also attacked the Transport Ministry, claiming they are being dealt with in «an arrogant and demeaning» manner. MITSOTAKIS WAITS MP’s immunity could be lifted Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis is studying a file submitted to him by a prosecutor who is demanding that the parliamentary immunity of New Democracy MP Kyriakos Mitsotakis be lifted. Mitsotakis is under investigation because from 2000-03, before he became a deputy and while serving on the board of a venture capital firm, he allegedly presided over the misuse of European Union funds. Mitsotakis denies the claims and said that there was simply a difference of opinion between the firm, Iven, and the Development Ministry. «That a disagreement should be inflated into a criminal case belongs in the realm of the absurd,» he said. Car blast A homemade explosive device, planted under a small truck parked near a bank branch in central Athens by unidentified assailants, detonated in the early hours of yesterday morning, destroying the vehicle and seriously damaging the premises. No one was hurt in the attack on the branch of Geniki Bank. Road fatalities A 22-year-old man was killed yesterday when the car he was driving veered off coastal Poseidonos Avenue and struck a billboard before falling into the Ilissos River. The man’s 21-year-old girlfriend, who was in the passenger seat of the car, was seriously injured. Also, early yesterday, a foreign national was killed when the car in which he was traveling veered off course and struck a metal barrier on the national highway near Corinth. Another two foreign nationals in the car were injured. Hospital warning Doctors at state hospitals are threatening to drastically curb their working hours from November 1 unless Health Ministry officials sit down with them to draw up an acceptable collective work contract. At present many doctors claim they are working 70 to 80 hours a week. The hospitals likely to be affected by the planned action include Attica’s Sismanoglio, Attiko and Geniko Kratiko. Lawyers’ strike The country’s lawyers are staging a 24-hour strike next Tuesday, calling on the government to improve the efficiency of the judicial system. Sea death A 64-year-old Swiss man who lived in the village of Marina, near Kalamata in the Peloponnese, has been found dead in the sea, it was revealed yesterday. Authorities did not indicate what was the cause of the man’s death was but a postmortem examination was due to be carried out yesterday. The man was not named.