NEWS

In Brief

PHARMACIES SHUT

Dispute over prescription drugs leads to 24-hour strike Pharmacies throughout Attica will be closed today due to a strike by pharmacists who claim they are coming under «financial attack» from the government. They oppose an amendment that forces them to give social insurance funds a 3 percent discount when they accept payment for prescription drugs. The law requires pharmacies to then recoup this money from pharmaceutical firms. Pharmacists claim this will lead to them losing 250 million euros. They have threatened to stop selling prescription drugs to customers claiming the cost on their social insurance. TRAVEL DISRUPTIONS Tram and metro action on way Tram services will be disrupted tomorrow between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. as staff stage work stoppages calling for better pay and benefits. On Friday metro services will be suspended between noon and 4 p.m. as staff walk off the job. Strong quake An undersea quake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale rattled the island of Evia early yesterday but there were no injuries or damage reported. Initial reports said the quake, off the island’s northern coast, had a magnitude of 6.6 on the Richter scale, putting rescue services on standby. Ministry targeted A group of around 15 youths caused serious damage to an annex of the Environment and Public Works Ministry in the Athens district of Neos Cosmos after vandalizing it with sticks and stones early yesterday. The facade of the premises and four cars parked nearby were wrecked in the attack. Firemen training A group of Greek firemen are to travel to Canada on Saturday to participate in a training program with members of the Canadian Fire Service as part of an initiative funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundaion. The 14 participants will include newly appointed trainers of the Greek fire service. Child porn Police from Attica’s electronic crime unit said yesterday that they had arrested a 25-year-old student in Patras believed to have been supplying child pornography to Internet users in 78 countries. A search of his home unearthed DVDs and photographs. Risky game Three youngsters from Ioannina were in detention yesterday after police caught them on a flyover outside the northwestern city spraying the froth from fire extinguishers onto motorists passing beneath them. There were no injuries, according to police, who said the three boys played the same prank last Friday. Drug haul Four foreign nationals in the central town of Trikala were being questioned on drug-dealing charges yesterday after officers confiscated more than 50 kilos of cannabis from their homes. Cafe raid Two masked intruders snatched 650 euros and two mobile phones during a raid on an Internet cafe in Thessaloniki early yesterday. One of the youngsters had been holding a sharp implement, according to witnesses.