NEWS

In Brief

PARTY CANCELED

Panepistimiou Street event off due to strike, shop ruling A street party scheduled to take place on Panepistimiou Street in downtown Athens tomorrow has been canceled, authorities said yesterday. The City Days (Meres Polis) event was to bring together nongovernmental organizations, children’s groups and musicians on the central thoroughfare, which would have been closed to traffic between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. However, a work stoppage by public transport workers as well as the Council of State’s decision not to allow shops to open tomorrow prompted the organizers, the Athens Prefecture and the Infrastructure and Environment ministries, to call off the event. An alternative date for the event was not provided. IMIYPAITHRIOI Deadline extended to February The deadline for homeowners to declare areas of homes which were originally planned as balconies, garages or basements but have since been turned into living space, known as «imiypaithrioi» (semi-open) in Greek, has been extended until February 2011, the Environment Ministry said yesterday. Homeowners, civil engineers and lawyers had put pressure on the government to extend the deadline for a second time because of the backlog of paperwork that has built up at town-planning offices. Homeowners who take part in the process and pay the relevant fee will be able to protect their properties from penalties for the next 40 years. Garbage woes Just as the last piles of trash littering street corners had been gathered, municipal garbage collectors called another 48-hour walkout for next Tuesday and Wednesday, demanding the payment of outstanding wages. Full-time municipal staff are to be joined by hundreds of workers on short-term contracts that are not being renewed. Rolling strikes by garbage collectors over the past few weeks have resulted in the streets of Athens being swamped with garbage. Train death One person was killed and two injured after a train en route from Nafplio to Argos in the Peloponnese derailed late on Thursday. The train, which had been carrying four passengers and three railway staff including the driver, derailed near the town of Achladokampos in Argolida prefecture. The Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) said it was looking into the cause of the accident while sources indicated that the likeliest reason was human error or track problems. Detention rap The humanitarian aid organization Doctors Without Borders yesterday condemned the conditions of reception centers for undocumented migrants at Greece’s border with Turkey. The group issued its criticism after staff members visited two detention centers and three police stations near the border, referring to «harsh and inhumane conditions in which detained migrants are being kept.» The facilities are two or three times above capacity with overcrowding so severe that some migrants are obliged to sleep in the toilets, the group said. Burned alive Firemen yesterday recovered the charred bodies of two elderly sisters, aged 76 and 80, from their house in the small town of Anogeio, near the town of Karditsa in central Greece. Neighbors told police that one of the siblings was disabled. The cause of the fire remained unclear yesterday.