NEWS

In Brief

COMMUTING WOES

Disruptions on most services due Monday to Thursday Workers on the Piraeus-Kifissia electric railway (ISAP), the Athens metro and the tram are to hold a four-hour work stoppage from noon on Monday, continuing their protest at the government’s plans to streamline public transport companies. Bus and trolley bus services will be suspended between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the same day. ISAP employees are also planning work stoppages from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and a 24-hour strike on Thursday, January 13. It is unclear whether workers on other modes of transport are planning to join their ISAP colleagues in the successive stoppages. TERROR PROBE Judiciary asks Italy for leads The investigating magistrates probing the activities of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire guerrilla group have asked their counterparts in Italy for information regarding the composition of letter bombs sent to several embassies, including Greece’s, in Rome last month and claimed by an Italian organization called Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI) – Lambros Fountas Revolutionary Cell. Fountas – a suspected member of another Greek guerrilla group, Revolutionary Struggle – was killed in a police shootout last March. The request by the magistrates, Constantinos Baltas and Dimitris Mokkas, comes just a few weeks after Italian authorities asked their Greek counterparts for information about the Conspiracy group. Police in both countries believe Greek and Italian anarchists are trading know-how and tactics. Bomb hoaxes Two anonymous telephone calls warning that bombs had been planted at Parliament and at the metro station in Aegaleo, western Athens, turned out to be hoaxes, police said yesterday. The first call, on Thursday night, warned that a bomb had been planted inside the capital’s Parliament building. The second, early yesterday afternoon, warned of an imminent explosion at Aegaleo metro station. No suspicious devices were found by police. Keratea ruling An appeal by residents of Keratea, southeast of Athens, against the planned construction of a landfill in the district, is to be heard on February 2, a local court ruled yesterday. Until then, all planned construction work is forbidden, the court said. Residents objecting to the landfill project have clashed regularly with police over the past few weeks. Cyprus visit Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias yesterday hailed a scheduled visit to the divided island next week by German Chancellor Angela Merkel as an important show of support for flagging peace talks. Merkel’s planned visit on Tuesday – the first ever by a German head of government – «holds great weight and huge significance» for the latest United Nations-mediated peace initiative, Christofias said. Talks between Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, a hardliner, have produced little progress.