In Brief

Emergency landings

Loss of cabin pressure forces plane to touch down in Athens A charter flight that had been carrying 192 passengers from the British city of Manchester en route to Egypt yesterday was forced to make an emergency landing at Athens International Airport following a loss of cabin pressure in the aircraft. A pregnant woman, her 2-year-old child and a 65-year-old woman who had been on the flight were transferred to hospital as a precaution. An Alitalia aircraft flying to Cairo from Milan also had to conduct an emergency landing at Athens airport after a passenger reportedly suffered a heart attack. Contract workers Bill offers ‘permanent’ perks New reforms, heralded on Sunday by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, foresee the induction of public sector workers into a system that would offer them the same salary and promotion opportunities as their counterparts with permanent contracts. The bill is to be tabled in Parliament in the next few days, according to Pavlopoulos, who remarked that many contract workers «have exceptional skills which cannot be utilized the way things are now, as they cannot become part of the hierarchy.» Contract workers in many sectors have been demanding permanent contracts for years. Last week Culture Ministry employees with short-term contracts blocked access to the Acropolis to draw attention to their demands. Patras clash Afghan immigrants yesterday attacked a truck driver at the central port of Patras, accusing him of injuring a compatriot and resident of a nearby makeshift settlement for migrants. In the ensuing clashes one passer-by was injured and several cars were damaged. Middle East Greece wants to play a key role in encouraging peace in the Middle East and strongly supports a two-state solution, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said in an interview with Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram published yesterday. Bakoyannis was in Egypt to attend an international aid conference whose purpose is to raise funds to rebuild the war-torn Gaza Strip. Greece has already sent five shipments of aid to Gaza, including food packages and medical supplies. Factory fires Two employees of a car recycling plant in Aspropyrgos, western Attica, were being treated for first-degree burns in hospital yesterday after a fire broke out at the facility on Sunday. According to local residents, it is the third time a fire has broken out at the factory. The cause of yesterday’s blaze was unclear. Meanwhile in the main industrial zone of Tripolis, in the central Peloponnese, a fire that broke out at a textile factory totally destroyed the building but caused no injuries. Again the cause of the blaze was unclear. Park attack Three residents of Kypseli, central Athens, were injured early on Saturday after being attacked by a group of unidentified assailants. The residents, who had been guarding the site of a local park, slated for the construction of a car park, blamed the attack on «para-state criminals.»

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