NEWS

In Brief

Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries Minister Yiannis Diamantidis yesterday accepted the resignation of the head of the Hellenic Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Athanassios Bousios. According to sources, Bousios, who submitted his resignation earlier this week, objects to the fragmentation of the of coast guard services following last month’s government reshuffle as a result of which some services are now under the supervision of the Citizens’ Protection Ministry and others under Diamantidis’s ministry. No successor had been named by late last night. RAILWAY STRIKE Minister, workers fail to agree Workers at the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) said yesterday that they will stage a 24-hour strike on Thursday after being unable to reach an agreement with Transport Minister Dimitris Reppas over imminent changes at the company, which the government is trying to privatize. The workers wanted a commitment that the employees who remain at OSE will still have a collective contract and that those who will be transferred to other departments within the public sector would retain the same wages. Reppas said that only those that remain at OSE will stay at the same wage. Bus guards The company that operates Thessaloniki’s public buses (OASTH) said yesterday that it will employ private security guards as of tomorrow on its buses and at major bus stops to ensure passenger safety. OASTH said the unarmed guards will carry two-way radios and have been instructed to intervene if they see any offenses being committed. Heating oil Distributors of heating oil are threatening not to begin delivering fuel as of October 15 unless the government speeds up the process by which they are repaid the special consumption tax they must pay out when buying the oil. The head of Greece’s petrol station owners’ union, Dimitris Makrivelios, said that the government owes the distributors money from last year. He added that heating fuel would be sold at 73 to 75 cents per liter this year, compared to 52 to 53 last year. ‘Arsonist’ detained A 28-year-old man was in detention yesterday after members of the police force’s motorcycle-riding DIAS unit arrested him outside a prefectural office in Peristeri, western Athens, with a homemade explosive device in his bag. Officers believe the man had been planning to plant the device, which comprised gas canisters and a plastic bottle containing a flammable liquid, at the office, though any possible motive remained unclear. A search of the man’s home turned up a stiletto switchblade, two brass knuckles and an extendable police baton. Thessaloniki trash Municipal officials in Thessaloniki yesterday pledged to take care of the city’s trash problem over the weekend, as piles of rubbish continue to accumulate due to a shortage of trash collection vehicles in operation. The problem began in the early summer when the municipality was unable to order spare parts for its garbage trucks due to problems with the process of appointing of a supplier. As a result, only 20 of the 65 municipal garbage trucks have been in operation over the past few weeks.