NEWS

In Brief

Graft probes

Ex-PM to testify on Vatopedi, OTE MD faces criminal charges The parliamentary committee investigating the Vatopedi land-swap scandal yesterday summoned former Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to testify. The decision came a week after Katerina Peleki, who is married to former Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis and who acted as a notary in the exchange, referred to a «central political decision» which she alleged had come from Karamanlis’s office. Meanwhile, Sifis Valyrakis, chairman of the parliamentary committee investigating the Siemens scandal, yesterday called on the prosecutors involved in the case to bring criminal charges of breach of faith against the chairman and managing director of OTE telecom, Panagis Vourloumis, and several members of OTE’s managing board. According to Valyrakis, there are «adequate indications» that the OTE officials failed to effectively check purchases from Siemens to avoid overpaying for technical support services. Former Justice Minister Nikos Dendias testified yesterday before the committee. ADEDY ACTION Union calls strike for Oct 7 Greece’s largest civil servants’ union, ADEDY, yesterday called for a 24-hour general strike on October 7. Reacting to government austerity measures that include wage and pension cuts, the labor group invited all civil servants to also participate in a protest rally that is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. at the Pedio tou Areos park on Alexandras Avenue and make its way to Parliament on the same day. ADEDY announced it would be staging a rally on September 29 at 6 p.m. at Klafthmonos Square on Stadiou Street in front of the offices of the European Union. Support for AIR In a statement issued yesterday, the Athens City Council condemned a decision by a prosecutor to confiscate the transmitter of Athens International Radio (AIR), the foreign-language radio program of the municipal Athina 98.4 station, over claims that its operating license was not valid. In the statement, the council said it «considers the method via which the public prosecutor chose to implement the law to be selective and, for the most part, unjustifiable, considering that AIR 104.4 FM provides a community service.» The National Council for Radio and Television was expected to rule on the issue yesterday. Insider bribes An employee of the SDOE financial crimes squad for the Ionian Islands was arrested by internal affairs officers yesterday on charges of accepting a bribe. The man, whose name was not made public, was caught receiving 30,000 euros in cash to settle a tax-related matter. He has been suspended from duty pending further disciplinary action. Transport upheavals Trains will not be running today from noon until 5 p.m. as Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) staff stage a work stoppage in protest at government plans to deregulate the sector. The action will also bring the Proastiakos suburban railway to a halt during those hours as well as metro services from Doukissis Plakentias station to Athens International Airport, since this stretch of track belongs to the OSE network.