NEWS

In Brief

STRIKE OFF

Metro to run as normal today as contract almost agreed upon A 24-hour metro strike that had been planned for today was called off yesterday. According to sources, employees and management are close to agreeing on the terms of a collective contract. Workers have gone on strike several times in recent months to protest the details of their contract, which they felt could affect their salaries in the future. The metro workers had called off a strike last week in order to give newly appointed Transport Minister Evripidis Stylianidis the opportunity to respond to their demands. FARE HIKE? Cabbies want to charge more Taxi drivers are pressing authorities for the right to double their fares in order to bring their charges in line with the European Union average, it was revealed yesterday. According to reports, the increase would apply to the charge per kilometer – from 36 cents per kilometer to 75 cents – rather than the flag charge which would remain at 1.10 euros. Taxi drivers reportedly expected to be granted a fare increase in September which failed to materialize. Winter sales Winter sales begin today at stores across the country, featuring discounts of up to 60 percent. The sales will run until February 28. Showroom shooting The owner of a car showroom in Menidi, northern Athens, was shot dead on his business premises late on Tuesday, police said yesterday. Officers said the 45-year-old was an ethnic Greek from the former Soviet Union who was known to authorities in connection with robberies and other crimes. They suspect that he was shot in a settling of scores. Body identified Police said yesterday that they have identified the body found in Piraeus port on Tuesday as that of a 40-year-old foreign national. Officers said they used fingerprint records to identify the man but did not give any more details. The man was found bound and gagged. A car battery had also been tied to his body. Justice frozen Lawyers in Thessaloniki who are members of the local bar association said that they will walk off the job from Monday due to the lack of heating in the city’s court complex. Noting that the lawyers would remain on strike throughout the winter months, the association condemned «the unacceptable, inhuman, Third World conditions» in court rooms, describing them as «freezing cold.» Palestinian mission A Greek vessel yesterday departed for the Cypriot port of Larnaca in a renewed bid to deliver medical supplies to injured Palestinians in Gaza. Monday’s initial attempt was aborted after strong winds and engine trouble hindered the Arion’s progress. Organizers replaced a faulty generator and set sail again yesterday. Bomb hoax An anonymous call to authorities at Thessaloniki’s main court complex at lunchtime yesterday, warning of an imminent bomb blast, turned out to be a hoax. Bomb disposal experts and sniffer dogs were called in immediately after the call but they failed to find any suspicious device.