NEWS

In Brief

METRO STRIKE

Employees in more protest action over labor contracts There will be no metro service tomorrow, as employees will walk off the job to protest management’s refusal to sign a collective labor agreement. It is the latest in a series of strikes over the last few weeks as workers insist that no limits should be placed on salary or bonus increases. RELIGIOUS LESSONS Queries about skipping class The Ombudsman has written a letter to Education and Religious Affairs Minister Evripidis Stylianidis stressing that all children have the right to skip religious education lessons if their parents approve such a move, it was revealed yesterday. Giorgos Kaminis said he sent the letter after receiving several queries on the subject from parents. «According to the existing legal framework, all pupils have the right to be exempted from religious education lessons if they or their parents invoke reasons of conscience,» the letter said. Universities closed University lecturers are due to begin a two-day strike today in protest against plans to grant full recognition to private colleges. The Hellenic Federation of University Teachers’ Associations recommended yesterday that a further 48-hour strike be held on November 25 and 26 as well as a public rally in central Athens on November 26. Cleaner buses ETHEL, the company that runs the natural gas-powered buses in Athens, yesterday unveiled two new buses that will be part of a fleet of 320 diesel-powered vehicles that will emit 60 percent fewer emissions than normal diesel buses. The new vehicles will be delivered at a pace of about 40 a month next year and will replace buses that have an average age of 14 years. Missing fishermen Coast guard vessels and a Super Puma rescue helicopter were yesterday dispatched to scour the sea off the northwestern coast of Karpathos for signs of a 30-year-old Egyptian fisherman reported as missing. Police were alerted to the man’s disappearance by a 38-year-old Greek fisherman who reportedly had been in the same fishing boat. The exact circumstances of the incident were unclear. Earlier yesterday rescue workers in the same area recovered the body of another fisherman, missing since Monday. Dope diversification Police in Thessaloniki were yesterday questioning a 52-year-old man arrested in the village of Xirohori after officers found 24 kilos of cannabis and a large quantity of methadone, a heroin substitute, in his home. The suspect is believed to have had been dealing in both substances. Police said they also found cannabis plants in his backyard. Elafonisos dispute European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas called on Greek authorities to take the necessary measures to give the island of Elafonisos, off the southern Peloponnese, the protection that it deserves as an area safeguarded by the European Union. Dimas was responding to a question submitted by Euro MP Dimitris Papadimoulis. Allowing unchecked construction on the island could have destructive and irreversible repercussions on the environment, Dimas said.