NEWS

In Brief

Illegal billboards

Government pushes for removal from roadsides Justice Minister Haris Kastanidis yesterday called on Supreme Court prosecutor Ioannis Tentes to enforce a law banning the erection of advertising billboards on the side of roads, a practice believed to have provoked dozens of accidents over the years. Kastanidis also called for the intensification of inspections and the imposition of penalties on firms that set up billboards. «An illegal situation is being perpetuated that is an insult to the right of both motorists and pedestrians to be safe,» Kastanidis said. In December, Tentes’s deputy, Nikolaos Mavros, had issued a circular to the Citizens’ Protection Ministry and police, saying authorities should immediately arrest anyone who has erected a billboard illegally. Hashed plan Drugs found in old school Police in Larissa, central Greece, yesterday detained two suspected members of a drug-trading ring after discovering more than 60 kilograms of cannabis hidden in the boiler room of a derelict school building in the village of Myra. Police said they were seeking another four suspected ring members, including an Albanian national who is believed to be the ringleader, overseeing the smuggling into Greece of large quantities of the drug. After receiving a tip-off that the old village school was being used to store the drugs prior to their distribution on the Greek market, police put the building under observation and arrested the two Greeks when they turned up to collect the latest delivery. Justice not blind Piraeus prefectural authorities have referred 19 people to the public prosecutor for allegedly unlawfully claiming a blindness disability benefit using forged documents. The total amount that must be repaid by the alleged cheats is almost 37,000 euros. The documents bore the forged signatures of directors and doctors of the Tzaneio hospital. ‘Cells’ arrest A 21-year-old Greek man was arrested in Aghios Dimitrios, southern Attica, yesterday afternoon and charged with participation in the terrorist organization, the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire. According to reports, the man’s fingerprints were found on objects in a Halandri apartment that police say had been used as a hideout by the increasingly active group. Following a series of bloodless bomb attacks against politicians over the past year, Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire last month claimed responsibility for a large explosion outside Parliament on January 9. Teachers strike State secondary school teachers decided yesterday that they would stage their own strike on March 8, protesting scheduled salary freezes and funding cuts, in addition to participating in the civil servants’ union (ADEDY) strike due on February 10. Teachers object to plans by the government to hire several thousand part-time staff rather than full-time teachers and fear that their wages will be frozen along with those of other civil servants.