NEWS

In Brief

Taxi strike

Protesting cabbies to stay at home today and tomorrow There will be no taxis serving the capital and other major Greek cities today and tomorrow as cabbies stage a 48-hour strike. Taxi drivers object to government plans to make them issue receipts, keep account books and pay tax according to their income. Under the current system, drivers pay just over 1,200 euros in tax each year, regardless of what they earn. Cabbies staged two 24-hour strikes last month and have pledged to continue their action until the government satisfies their demands. Racist attack Migrant quarry guard hurt In what appears to be the latest in a string of racist attacks in the Cretan prefecture of Hania, an unidentified assailant yesterday used a wooden club to threaten a foreign immigrant working as a guard at a local quarry before setting fire to his guard box, causing him significant burns. According to the migrant’s account of the incident, the masked assailant drove up to the quarry’s entrance. The perpetrator is then said to have threatened the migrant with the club and set fire to the guard’s box. Before fleeing, the assailant torched the migrant worker’s scooter that had been parked nearby. Unused plasma There are some 25 million tons of blood plasma donated by Greeks that has not been used even though the country has regularly imported the fluid from a Dutch company since 2001, Health Minister Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou said yesterday. The minister revealed that the blood plasma had been shipped to the Netherlands between 2004 and 2008 to be treated and then returned to Greece. However, these shipments of fluid had not been tested for several viruses and therefore cannot be used. Xenogiannakopoulou said the failure to use the plasma was an insult to all those who had donated blood in recent years. Police misconduct An internal police inquiry yesterday called for the suspension from the force of two special guards alleged to have been exceptionally heavy-handed in their treatment of an Armenian woman and her daughter last November. The probe into the officers’ conduct was launched after the Armenian woman claimed to have been stopped in the street in the central Athens district of Kypseli and «dragged» to the local police precinct by the two officers who claimed that she had verbally abused them. The incident prompted Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis to set up an office where citizens can lodge complaints about alleged police misconduct. Brutal killing Police in Serres yesterday were investigating the circumstances of the death of an 89-year-old woman whose beaten body was found outside her home in the village of Gazoro. The elderly woman, who was found by the steps leading up to her home, had been struck several times on the head, according to a coroner. The motive for the attack was not clear yesterday.