NEWS

In Brief

RACIST MARCHERS

Coast guard suspends head of special forces over chants The coast guard yesterday suspended the head its special forces after some of its members were videotaped shouting racist slogans during Thursday’s Independence Day parade in the capital. The coast guard has ordered an internal investigation to determine exactly who was involved in the chanting of slogans such as: «You do not become a Greek, you are born one,» and «We’re going to spill your blood, Albanian pig.» Reacting to the video, which was uploaded onto the Internet, Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis remarked, «No idiot has the right to blacken his service and the celebration of a historic national day with racist slogans of hatred and xenophobia.» POWER STRIKE Youths vandalize offices Police were seeking a group of around 25 hooded youths who used sledgehammers to vandalize the offices of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) in Sepolia, west of central Athens, early yesterday morning. The vandals, who struck at around 8.30 a.m., smashed the facade of the offices and a PPC vehicle parked outside, hurled paint at the walls of the building but caused no injuries. Before fleeing they scattered leaflets blaming PPC for «bleeding us dry, downgrading our lives» and for the death and injury of countless workers. Time change Clocks will go forward tomorrow, as daylight-saving time begins. At 3 a.m. on Sunday, clocks should be put forward one hour. The new time will be effective until October 31. ISAP disruption There will be no service today and tomorrow between Omonia and Ano Patissia stations on the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) due to ongoing engineering works. Passengers intending to travel on this section of the line will instead be able to use the X8 bus. Earlier this month ISAP announced that works on the railway route, which had been due for completion before Easter, will continue until at least the fall. Cabbie gesture The Panhellenic Federation of Taxi Drivers yesterday proposed that the country’s cabbies this year not request the additional 1-euro surcharge they traditionally add to fares over the Easter period «in an expression of solidarity with passengers who have been hit by the economic crisis.» The proposal is subject to approval by the Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Ministry on Monday. Lawyers action Lawyers are to walk off the job on Tuesday and Wednesday, continuing their protest against the government’s austerity measures. A committee of representatives from bar associations across the country decided yesterday to extend strike action which began this week with three 24-hour strikes. Lawyers object to the increase in value-added tax on their services and criticize the government for failing to address underlying problems in their sector, including a huge backlog of cases.