NEWS

In Brief

NOTE TO NOTARIES

ECJ prosecutor calls for closed-shop laws to change In a move that will work in favor of the government’s drive to open closed-shop professions, a European Court of Justice prosecutor yesterday called for Greece and five other European countries to be indicted over restrictions that prevent some qualified notaries from being able to practice their profession. The prosecutor said that laws in Greece, Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Austria that allow only their own nationals to work as notaries in those countries are in infringement of European Union regulations. DRUG BUST Sweep in Exarchia no-go zone In a dragnet operation to crack down on the illegal drugs trade in central Athens, Attica police on Sunday night raided the Tositsa Street pedestrian walkway in Exarchia, making 55 arrests. The street, which runs beside the National Archaeological Museum, has in recent years regressed into a regular haunt for drug dealers and users. Police said they found large quantities of cocaine, heroin, hashish and other drugs on the men they detained, most of whom are believed to be of African origin, as well as stolen items used by buyers in lieu of cash. Traffic disruptions Traffic on the Athens-Patra national highway will be subject to disruptions through December 22 as roadwork gets under way. Access will be restricted to one lane in either direction between the 136th and 137th kilometer and between the 125th and 127th kilometer to facilitate construction of the new Corinth-Patra highway. Work is expected to be completed in time for the Christmas holiday rush. OSE ruling The Athens Court of First Instance yesterday ruled illegal a 24-hour strike announced by rail workers that nearly brought the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) to a standstill yesterday. However, train engineers did stage three three-hour work stoppages, one in the morning, another in the afternoon and again late last night. Name dispute Speaking to the press at the 65th UN General Assembly which began yesterday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to make speedier progress on the resolution of the name dispute that has strained relations between the two neighbors for nearly two decades. Ban said that he would be meeting with representatives from both Athens and Skopje during the assembly in order to discuss «the necessity of resolving this issue, with a sense of flexibility and mutual understanding.» Cyprus deadlock Dervis Eroglu, the leader of the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus, yesterday accused Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias of intransigence, according to Turkish-Cypriot media reports. Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Eroglu said Nicosia has made no concessions during negotiations for the island’s reunification. He also accused Christofias of provoking him with «various machinations to abandon the talks.» Christofias has made various proposals to hardliner Eroglu but none have been embraced so far.