NEWS

In Brief

TEACHERS’ ULTIMATUM

Educators give gov’t until Tuesday to rule out wage cuts The Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OLME), whose members have been threatening to strike over plans to cut their salaries, said yesterday that it would suspend action until Tuesday by which time its members expect the Education Ministry to offer them a solution. The teachers have said they will not mark the papers of students currently sitting high school entrance examinations until they have been reassured by the ministry that their salaries will not be reduced. NO PURPOSE Regional farming offices closed Agricultural Development Minister Katerina Batzeli yesterday defended her decision to shut down a total of 51 regional offices promoting growth in the farming sector by saying that they were costing taxpayers almost 3 million euros a year and were not providing any services. Batzeli told Parliament that the previous government had spent almost 1 million euros equipping the offices in 2007, known as TOKAA, and had paid 324 employees 5.5 million euros over the last two years. Greek donors Half of Greeks claim to have given blood, significantly above the European Union average of 37 percent, a survey by the EU’s statistics service Eurostat has shown. A total of 51 percent of Greeks questioned claimed to have donated blood. Only the Austrians and the French ranked above the Greeks, with scores of 66 percent and 52 percent respectively. Greeks are less keen about donating their organs, with 43 percent saying they are willing to do so as compared to an EU average of 55 percent. The Swedes rank highest in this area with a score of 83 percent. Elderly arsonist A 73-year-old man faced a Piraeus prosecutor yesterday after allegedly starting a fire on a construction site next to his home in Schisto, near Perama. The blaze was quickly extinguished by the fire service. The motive behind the alleged arson attack remained unclear. Child porn Officers from the police’s electronic crimes unit yesterday detained a 40-year-old man from Patra believed to have been trading on the Internet photographs of children being sexually abused. Apart from trading in photographs, the suspect is also alleged to have uploaded similar images of children on his profile page on a social networking site. Suicide leap? A man has died in Thessaloniki after falling from the fifth floor of an apartment building in the northern city. The man, who was not named, was taken to the Ippocrateio Hospital suffering from serious injuries but doctors there were unable to save his life. It was reported that the man had a suicide note on him but police did not comment. Pensions protest The country’s two largest unions, GSEE and ADEDY, will hold a protest in central Athens on Wednesday, June 16. The rally is due to take place in Klafthmonos Square at 7 p.m. The unions are protesting against the government’s pension reforms.