NEWS

In Brief

Closed professions

Lawyers and doctors threaten to give up their licenses Representatives of seven so-called «closed professions,» including lawyers, doctors and notaries, yesterday threatened to give up their professional licenses unless Prime Minister George Papandreou meets with them by next Wednesday. The protesters object to tax reforms that revoke previous privileges as well as reforms that would open up their sectors to competition. Dimitris Paxinos, the president of the Athens Bar Association, condemned the «constant denigration of professional sectors.» Cut off PM without phone for 7 days Telecommunications engineers accidentally cut off the telephone line to the home of Prime Minister George Papandreou, in the northern Athens suburb of Kastri, the CEO of OTE telecom, Panagis Vourloumis, said yesterday. In a statement, OTE telecom said that Papandroeu’s line remained disconnected for seven days after it was cut off «due to human error.» According to sources, the engineers had been trying to cut the telephone line of a customer who was behind in payments. The phone number of the customer in arrears was the same as that of the premier, save for one digit, the sources said. Bus disruption Athens will be without blue buses today from the start of their shift at 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 10 p.m. until midnight as drivers stage a work stoppage demanding back pay. The Piraeus-Kifissia (ISAP) electric railway will also be closed on Saturday and Sunday between Omonia and Ano Patissia stations due to construction work. Frog invasion The biggest thoroughfare in northern Greece, the Egnatia Highway, was closed for two hours yesterday while an army of frogs tried to make it to the other side. Traffic police said three drivers crashed into the central barrier, without sustaining any injuries, after being surprised at the sight of thousands of amphibians hopping across the asphalt. The incident took place near the junction of Lagada, some 19 kilometers from Thessaloniki. Soccer violence Fans of Panathinaikos and Panionios clashed in the central square of Nea Smyrni, southern Athens, on Tuesday night following a water polo match between the two teams. Police, who arrested two suspects and detained three others for questioning before releasing them, said two men were slightly injured in the incident. Kilkis patricide A 75-year-old man was in serious condition in a hospital in Kilkis, northern Greece, yesterday after being stabbed in the stomach, allegedly by his 44-year-old son. According to police, the father and son had argued about family affairs. Neighbors told officers that the 44-year-old had a history of psychological problems. It remained unclear yesterday what charges he would face. Burglary arrests Police in Attica yesterday rounded up a group of suspects believed to belong to a gang of thieves responsible for more than 70 break-ins in different arts of the prefecture.