NEWS

In Brief

Strike over

Seamen call off 8-day action after government order The Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO) yesterday ended an eight-day strike that has paralyzed coastal shipping and led to the suspension of deliveries of thousands of tons of cargo after the government ordered them back to work. The government ordered the protesting seamen back to work by resorting to the rarely used method of enlisting strikers as army conscripts, which allows it to order them back to work. Authorities took the same measure in July to force back to work protesting truck drivers whose action had paralyzed domestic and international trade. Unionists said they were considering further action in the near future. All-day hospitals Afternoon service offered by 25 A total of 25 state hospitals in the country’s major cities are now operating in the afternoons as well as the mornings. Patients can now visit the outpatient clinics, diagnostic centers and surgeries of several hospitals, including Attica’s Evangelismos, Erythros Stavros (Red Cross) and KAT and the Papanikolaou and Papageorgiou in Thessaloniki. The hospitals will operate between 3 and 10 p.m. daily following a joint decision by Health Minister Andreas Loverdos and Deputy Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis which came into effect yesterday. Prison protest Inmates at 15 of the country’s 33 jails were refusing to eat yesterday in protest at detention conditions. Hundreds of prisoners are reportedly threatening to stage a protracted hunger strike unless action is taken. Justice Minister Haris Kastanidis on Monday heralded reforms aimed at overhauling the criminal justice system and improving conditions at jails, where overcrowding has reached extreme proportions and illnesses such as tuberculosis are thriving. In a related development, the ministry ordered an internal investigation into the alleged mistreatment of inmates at a prison in Kassaveteia, in Viotia. Bus routes Dozens of bus routes have changed as of yesterday with many routes connecting Athens to the northeastern and southeastern suburbs offering more frequent service while other routes serving central Athens have been abolished or merged with other routes. More details are available on the information line of the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA), 185, or on its website at www.oasa.gr. Vicious attack A Polish national was in critical condition in the KAT Hospital in Maroussi, north of Athens, after being attacked by unidentified assailants who burned him and cut off his genitals, it emerged yesterday. The victim was discovered on Sunday night on a beach near the port of Lavrio by passersby who called an ambulance. Police believe the attack was a settling of accounts and were questioning the victim’s relatives for leads. Riera robbed Thieves broke into Olympiakos soccer star Albert Riera’s house Tuesday night, stealing cash and jewelry, before driving off with two luxury cars parked in the garage. Riera, 28, who was sleeping along with his wife at the time of the break-in, notified the police early yesterday. No suspects have been arrested so far. The Spanish winger has lived in Voula, a southern suburb of Athens, since signing with the Piraeus club in July.