NEWS

In Brief

Hunger strike

SYRIZA appeals to PM as protesting mayor grows weak The central committee of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) has sent a letter to Prime Minister George Papandreou asking him to intervene as the mayor of Elliniko, a coastal suburb of Athens, has completed 57 days of a hunger strike in protest at reforms to local government outlined in the new Kallikratis law. Christos Kortzidis, who believes the reforms will impoverish his municipality and others, had staged a long hunger strike in 2007 to champion free access to local beaches. SYRIZA, which had supported Kortzidis’s free beach campaign, said the mayor is very frail and his life is in danger. Crime syndicate Prosecutor indicts 20 suspects An appeals court prosecutor yesterday indicted 20 people believed to be members of a crime syndicate accused of abducting in January 2009 shipping magnate Pericles Panagopoulos. The prosecutor, Christos Papageorgiou, said the alleged mastermind of the crime gang, Panayiotis Vlastos, is believed to have given orders for a series of kidnappings and contract killings from within prison. Cafe sweep Municipal crews yesterday removed dozens of tables and chairs that had been illegally set up outside cafes in the central Athens district of Monastiraki in an ongoing crackdown on businesses illegally occupying pedestrianized areas. According to Deputy Mayor for Finance Nikos Vafiadis, who oversaw the cleanup, many of the businesses already had been issued with fines for the offenses involved but had failed to comply. «Business proprietors must understand that pedestrian zones and public spaces belong to all citizens and that no one has the right to prevent freedom of access to them,»Vafiadis said. ISAP disruption The section of the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway (ISAP) between Ano Patissia and Neratziotissa will be out of service tomorrow and the day after, Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27, due to engineering works. Passengers can use the X17 replacement bus service for this section. The section between Nea Ionia and Neratziotissa will also be closed Monday, June 28, through Friday, July 2. Passengers can use the X18 bus. Holiday fraud Police in Thessaloniki said yesterday that they were seeking a 39-year-old local woman believed to have swindled would-be holidaymakers out of more than 300,000 euros by selling them bogus vacation packages. The woman is believed to have taken deposits for hotel stays that were never arranged and to have squirreled away the money in six bank accounts, some in her name and some in that of her 57-year-old husband. Waste rap The European Commission announced yesterday that it would be indicting Greece and another three European Union member states for the nonimplementation of EU legislation governing the mismanagement of waste. In Greece’s case, the indictment was based chiefly on the inadequate operation of the capital’s main landfill at Fyli, in northwestern Attica.