NEWS

In Brief

Flight disruption

No services Sunday due to controllers’ 24-hour action All scheduled flights for this Sunday will be canceled as air-traffic controllers are to hold a 24-hour strike, it emerged yesterday. The strike is a bid to put pressure on the Transport Ministry to separate their sector from the rest of the public sector when the government overhauls Greece’s bureaucracy. Heating oil Bid to secure deliveries Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Kouselas is today to meet with unionists for the country’s petrol station owners, who have threatened to suspend deliveries of heating oil to Greek homes unless the government speeds up the process by which they are repaid the special consumption tax they shell out when buying the oil. In a meeting with the unionists on Monday, Kouselas satisfied their demands for repayment of the special consumption tax within two days of the submission of invoices to the ministry. According to sources, gas station owners also want the ministry to abolish the regulation that obliges them to pay the tax in advance. OSE strike Train services will be disrupted across the country through Friday as employees of the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) stage rolling three-hour work stoppages with a 24-hour strike scheduled for tomorrow. Unionists have called the all-day strike for tomorrow to protest a bill foreseeing the restructuring of debt-ridden OSE which is to be discussed by a parliamentary committee on the same day. OSE workers have threatened to continue with rolling 24-hour strikes once the bill is submitted to Parliament for approval. Kerosene spill A Greek tanker carrying jet fuel and a Cypriot container ship collided some 30 kilometers away from the Dutch coastal town of Scheveningen, Reuters reported yesterday. The collision led to highly flammable kerosene leaking into the sea, according to the Dutch coast guard. A hole measuring 5 by 6 meters opened up in the side of the Greek ship, the Mindoro, after the accident. Dutch authorities said a cleanup campaign would not be needed as the oil would evaporate. The tanker was to be moved to either Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Nobody was injured in the collision. Turkish violations A formation of eight Turkish fighter jets violated Greek national air space over the island of Agathonisi yesterday, defense officials said. The Turkish F-16s were chased off by Greek aircraft. Flight ban A Turkish airline has lost an appeal it lodged with a British court to overturn a ban on flights from Britain to the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus. Kibris Turk Hava Yollari (KTHY) and its UK tour operator, CTA Holidays, had argued that the ban unfairly restricted Turkish-Cypriot residents and entrepreneurs wishing to travel and do business with the European Union and the rest of the world. Currently, flights to the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus must land in Turkey first. Metro blast A small explosive device went off early yesterday at one of the metro work sites in Thessaloniki. Police said that the bomb exploded at 5 a.m., causing minor damage to the site.