NEWS

In Brief

PHARMACY STRIKE?

Pharmacists set for action after rejecting liberalization plans Athens pharmacists are due to meet on Monday to discuss strike action after rejecting yesterday the government’s terms for the liberalization of their profession. Pharmacists in Piraeus said their stores would remain closed on Monday and Tuesday. Health Minister Andreas Loverdos has proposed that a bill to be submitted to Parliament on Tuesday should allow any qualified pharmacist to obtain a license to operate a pharmacy. It will also allow a license to be issued as long as the pharmacy has a potential customer base of 1,000 people rather than the current 1,500. The draft law further proposes that pharmacies be allowed to open on Monday and Wednesday afternoons and on Saturdays. Finally, pharmacies will have to discount by 4.5 percent medicines that are paid for by social security funds, according to the bill. PROTEST TENSION Rally against anti-racism event Residents of the district of Aghios Panteleimonas near central Athens have called on supporters to congregate in their local square at midday today to protest against an anti-racism rally being organized at 2 p.m. outside Athens University by labor and student unions. Condemning the organizers of the anti-racism rally as «sold-out trade unionist traitors,» the residents’ group issued a statement saying, «With our flag as our weapon… we will put an end to the nightmare of illegal immigrants,» a reference to the burgeoning population of migrants in Aghios Panteleimonas. On the fence Citizens’ Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis believes the 12.5-kilometer fence the government plans to build on the Evros border would «organize the flow of migrants» and will prove to other countries that «Greece is capable of protecting its borders.» Papoutsis ruled out the Popular Orthodox Rally’s (LAOS) proposal that the government should also place obstacles in the Evros River to prevent immigrants crossing into Greece. Landfill talks Environment Minister Tina Birbili and Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis yesterday discussed Greece’s problem with illegal landfills during talks in Brussels with European Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik. If the commissioner is satisfied with the ministers’ proposals for shutting down the remaining illegal landfills across Greece, he is expected to delay the country’s indictment to the European Court of Justice for noncompliance with European waste management laws. If Greece is indicted again, the government will face a multimillion-euro fine. Couple death Police in Corinth yesterday were probing the cause of death of a 77-year-old man and his 58-year-old wife whose naked bodies were found next to each other on the floor in their home on Thursday. Police said they had ruled out any criminal involvement but did not confirm that the deaths were suicide. Road subsides A 7-meter section of the new part of the Corinth-Tripoli-Kalamata national highway is reported to have subsided just a month after the stretch of road was opened to the public. According to the consortium who undertook the project, the subsidence was caused by water in the subsoil. For safety reasons, one lane has been closed off to motorists.