NEWS

In Brief

WEST NILE VIRUS

Number of cases rises to 32 but none critical The number of Greeks who have contracted the West Nile virus has risen to 32, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) said yesterday. On Wednesday, 21 people were diagnosed as having the illness. Most of those who have the virus are suffering from brain inflammation or meningitis but none is reported to be in critical condition. Two elderly people died in the past week after being bitten by mosquitoes carrying the virus and then suffering brain inflammation. KIOSK STRIKE? Owners angry at tobacco tax Kiosk owners are reportedly considering going on strike at the end of this month to protest the damage that has been done to their business by the rise in the special consumption tax on cigarettes. They claim that of the 45,000 kiosks and other outlets selling cigarettes that were in business at the start of the year, 1,300 have shut down. Kiosk owners say tax now represents 85.7 percent of the cost of a packet of cigarettes, allowing for just a 13-euro-cent profit, which is 10 cents less than they used to make before the hike earlier this year. They claim that cigarettes account for 80 percent of their total sales. Memorandum appeals Bar associations from Kalamata and Volos yesterday added their legal action to several others that are seeking to have the agreement Greece signed with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund annulled. The Athens Bar Association, the ADEDY civil servants’ union, several associations representing retired workers and 22 individuals have already appealed against the memorandum, claiming it is unconstitutional. Embezzling driver A bus driver on the island of Alonissos, in the Sporades, was remanded in custody on charges of embezzlement yesterday. The 41-year-old man is alleged to have been issuing tickets to passengers that did not originate from the official ticket booklets issued by the operating company and then pocketing the money. Teen suspects Three teenagers aged between 16 and 18 were arrested in the town of Gytheio in the southeast Peloponnese yesterday on charges of circulating forged bank notes. Investigators found that the suspects, two young men and a young woman, had four forged 50-euro bank notes in their possession and believe they used another five in various transactions with businesses in the town. Priest death A 57-year-old priest in Karditsa, central Greece, died in a local hospital yesterday after sustaining lethal injuries during a car crash. Traffic police said the driver appears to have lost control of his vehicle early yesterday morning while driving along a mountainous road. TO OUR READERS Kathimerini English Edition will not be available in Greece and Cyprus tomorrow due to the Dormition of the Virgin holiday. We will be back on Monday.