NEWS

In Brief

FLIGHT DISRUPTION

Today’s strike canceled but workers threaten go-slow action A 24-hour strike by air-traffic controllers, due to start this morning, was called off yesterday after a court deemed the industrial action illegal and abusive. The strike would have led to the cancellation of dozens of flights and would have inconvenienced thousands of travelers as the tourist season nears its peak. However, there were delays yesterday at the country’s main international airports, chiefly in Athens and Thessaloniki, as protesting workers launched go-slow action. DRUG CRACKDOWN Major heroin hauls up north Police in northern Greece yesterday detained two foreign nationals in major drug hauls. Police at Thessaloniki airport were questioning a 39-year-old Romanian after finding 3.5 kilos of heroin in his suitcase. The suspect, believed to be a member of a international drug racket, had been due to board a flight to London. Meanwhile, border guards at the Kipoi border with Turkey seized more than 10 kilos of heroin from the suitcase of a 21-year-old Lithuanian who had been en route to Athens from Istanbul by bus. Last month, police seized heroin from the case of another Lithuanian who had been on the same bus route. Swine flu Health authorities diagnosed another 22 cases of swine flu yesterday, bringing the country’s total to 222. On Thursday, Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos declared that Greece had entered a «pandemic» and that a third of the population could be infected with the H1N1 virus, according to world flu statistics. Of the 222 swine flu cases in Greece, 101 have been treated and cured. Pro-migrant rally Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Athens on Thursday night to protest a recent government crackdown on illegal immigrants, including plans to house undocumented foreigners in disused army barracks that are to serve as temporary detention centers. An estimated 2,000 protesters marched through the capital to Parliament carrying banners reading «No to racism, no to the government measures.» There= was no violence. Cars firebombed An unidentified arsonist destroyed four cars and damaged another two after hurling Molotov cocktails at a car dealership in the Cretan port of Iraklio early yesterday. According to witnesses, the act of vandalism was carried out by a young man on a scooter. Graft arrest An official from the town-planning department of Katerini, near Thessaloniki, was detained yesterday on charges of graft after allegedly demanding a bribe from a local businessmen. The official was caught in the act of accepting a «fakelaki» (envelope) of 5,000 euros from the owner of a takeaway restaurant in exchange for facilitating the issuance of a new operating license. The owner had briefed police after being asked for the bribe. Don’t open sesame The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) yesterday called for a consignment of sesame seeds, an Egyptian product trading under the name «Rapunzel» to be removed from supermarket shelves as it may contain traces of salmonella.