NEWS

In Brief

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Ombudsman criticizes lack of free school language textbooks The Children’s Ombudsman yesterday criticized a decision by education authorities to call on secondary school pupils to purchase certain foreign-language books that form part of their syllabus, stressing that the state should provide such material without charge. «Free education does not only mean that pupils’ fees are covered but also indicates the provision of essential materials necessary for their lessons,» the ombudsman said in a statement. Kyrkos hospitalized Leftist to receive a pacemaker Veteran leftist Leonidas Kyrkos was admitted to Evangelismos Hospital in Athens yesterday after suffering a serious heart complication. Kyrkos, who founded what is today the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), is to be fitted with a pacemaker, doctors said. Hoax call Police yesterday morning cordoned off the area around the building housing the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, after an anonymous caller telephoned the switchboard there to warn that a bomb had been planted on the premises and would explode in two hours. The building was evacuated immediately after the telephone call at 9.10 a.m. and police entered the premises with sniffer dogs but failed to find any suspect device. Thessaloniki ruling A Thessaloniki court yesterday exonerated two young men charged with disturbing the peace after being arrested near the site of clashes last week between self-styled anarchists and students on the grounds of the city’s Aristotle University. The court found one of the men guilty of charges of illegal arms possession, noting that he had been holding a club upon his arrest. Unpaid teachers Hundreds of teachers rallied in central Athens yesterday, demanding the disbursement of several months of unpaid salaries. A total of 5,000 teachers say they have not been paid since last September. A representative for the Athens regional education authority said yesterday that the teachers would receive the first installment of their outstanding wages over the next few days. Two-jab driver A driver in Hania, Crete, who was asked yesterday to move his car after double parking on a main road responded to the demand by punching the municipal police officer who made it. The officer was taken for treatment to the local hospital but was soon discharged, after which he filed a suit against his attacker, who was still at large last night. LAOS upset The right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) yesterday claimed that a member of its student wing, FOS, was hospitalized on Tuesday night after being attacked while handing out leaflets on the campus of an unidentified university in Athens. LAOS said that the victim suffered multiple injuries, without giving further details. Bank hammered A robber used a sledgehammer to smash his way through security at a branch of Aspis Bank in Nea Kifissia before demanding that staff hand over an unspecified amount of cash. The robber smashed a window at the bank, situated on the Athens-Lamia highway, shortly after noon.