NEWS

In Brief

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Workers lining up protests, starting early September There will be a five-hour work stoppage by employees on the public transport system and at the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) at the beginning of next month, unionists have decided. Following a meeting on Friday, they agreed that the action would be staged during the first 10 days of September. The transportation workers want to protest privatizations, firings, wage cuts and the trimming of benefits. Union representatives will hold a joint press conference in Thessaloniki during the International Fair in mid-September to explain their stance, which is likely to include further protest action. NO AMBULANCES Work stoppage until 1 p.m. There will be no ambulances available today between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. due to a work stoppage by employees of the service. The drivers and paramedics claim that they are owed a combined total of 30,000 days off and that some supplementary payments have not been made for the last eight months. Meanwhile, doctors at the Aghia Olga Hospital in Nea Ionia, northern Athens, will not work their on-duty hours today in protest at what they say is the government’s failure to pay some of their wages. The doctors claim they have not been paid overtime for April, May and June as well as for August 2009. As a result of the protest, the hospital will only treat emergency cases. Complaint hotline The consumer complaint hotline, 1520, receives about 100 calls a day, officials have revealed. Although the hotline is operated by a private firm, it operates under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Consumers, which wants to transform 1520 into a one-stop shop, which will not only record complaints but will also give advice to consumers. At the moment, 1520 phone operators record the details of complaints and then pass them on to the relevant state bodies for further investigation. Village shooting A 46-year-old man from the village of Drosero in Pella, northern Greece, was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of shooting dead another local man. Police said that the victim, a 55-year-old, was shot as he was riding his motorcycle past the 46-year-old’s house. Drugs and firearms were found in the possession of the alleged gunman, who was not named. The motive for the shooting was not immediately clear. Cars burned Arsonists in Thessaloniki attacked five cars displaying diplomatic license plates early on Saturday. Police said that the attacks took place in the Faliro and Kalamaria areas of the city. Nobody was hurt. In one case, the fire spread to two other parked vehicles. People smugglers Three men were arrested at the Malgara toll station in northern Greece on Saturday on suspicion of trying to smuggle 14 illegal immigrants into the country. Police said that one of the suspects was a 59-year-old Greek while the other two were foreign nationals, aged 36 and 37.