NEWS

In Brief

GLETSOS ARRESTED

Stylida mayor hands himself in to police over bulldozer protest Soap opera actor-turned-mayor Apostolos Gletsos handed himself in to police yesterday after a prosecutor in Fthiotida, central Greece, charged him over his decision to use a municipal bulldozer to break through barriers on the Athens-Thessaloniki highway so that his constituents could bypass the Pelasgia tollbooth. Police had been searching the area to arrest Gletsos, the mayor of Stylida, but the actor appeared at his local police station with his lawyer shortly before 3 p.m. Earlier in the day, a municipal bulldozer was used to break through the roadside barriers again after Aegean Motorway, the private firm responsible for this stretch of the highway, had repaired the section taken down by Gletsos on Monday. SPRINTERS’ TRIAL Kenteris, Thanou case to begin The trial of Greek sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou is set to be heard at an Athens misdemeanor court today after years of postponements, according to Reuters. Kenteris and Thanou were barred from the Athens 2004 Olympics after missing a doping test due to an alleged motorcycle crash. The genuineness of the accident was called into question after discrepancies between the athletes’ and witnesses’ testimonies. The Greek Athletics Federation (SEGAS) cleared both athletes of doping charges but they were suspended for two years by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Thanou returned to international competition in 2007 but was barred from taking part in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Strike action The civil servants’ union (ADEDY) yesterday said it would be holding a 24-hour strike sometime in the first half of next month to protest the government’s ongoing austerity drive. «We will strike in the first 15 days of February, it will be a 24-hour strike,» Despina Spanou, a board member of ADEDY, told Reuters. Spanou described the government’s wage and pension cuts in the public sector and tax increases as «a radical attack against our rights.» Drug hauls Police in the western port of Patra yesterday detained a man, aged 55, and a 51-year-old woman believed to have been storing drugs in and dealing them from a converted stable in the village of Kritharakia in Achaia prefecture. Officers arrested the couple after confiscating 300 grams of heroin, nearly a kilogram of cannabis and 25 grams of cocaine from the converted warehouse. Meanwhile police in Haidari, western Athens, detained two Albanians, aged 27 and 34, after seizing 1.5 kilograms of cocaine from a workshop the pair are believed to have used to cut and package the drug before selling it. Teachers protest The Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OLME) yesterday called on its members to join work stoppages tomorrow and Friday in protest at cuts to state education spending and in memory of Nikos Temponeras, a teacher who was murdered in 1991 in the western port city of Patra during protests against an education bill. January 8 marked the 20th anniversary of Temponeras’s death. OLME also called on members to join a protest rally due to start at 12.30 p.m. tomorrow outside the entrance to Athens University.