NEWS

In Brief

UNDER CONTRACT

Court’s opinion on fixed-term public sector workers sparks ire Supreme Court prosecutor Yiannis Tentes recommended yesterday that court reject an appeal by fixed-term public sector contract workers to have their labor agreements turned into permanent deals. Tentes’s recommendation sparked angry reactions from dozens of temporary civil servants that had gathered outside the court. Tentes said that Article 103 of the Constitution forbids short-term deals to be extended or made permanent. The country’s two largest unions, GSEE and ADEDY, said that they would take the workers’ case to the European Court of Justice. The contract workers plan to meet over the weekend to decide on possible further action. GAS CHEATS Tougher penalties pledged Development Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis pledged yesterday tougher sanctions for gas station owners that install electronic devices to cheat customers and for those that help them install them. The government announced its intention a few weeks ago to crack down on the adulteration of fuel and tampering with pumps. It has included an amendment to a development bill currently being debated in Parliament that foresees stricter penalties for any gas station owners breaking the law. The amendment gives authorities the right to revoke a gas station’s license if it is found to be cheating customers. Anyone found abetting this process would face a fine of between 50,000 and 500,000 euros, rather than the current penalties of 10,000 to 100,000. Suspect shot Police officers in Thebes, Viotia, said yesterday that they were forced to shoot a fleeing suspect after he resisted arrest and injured one of the policemen that tried to stop him. Two members of the motorcycle-riding DIAS squad stopped the man after spotting that the vehicle he was driving did not have license plates. He abandoned the car and ran towards a Gypsy settlement, according to the officers who pursued him. Police said that an arrest warrant had been issued for the suspect over a robbery. He will also be charged with assaulting a policeman, resisting arrest, illegally carrying a weapon and causing bodily harm. Fatal plunge A 60-year-old man died yesterday after jumping out of the fourth-floor window of a hospital in the Cretan prefecture of Hania in an incident police were treating as suicide. According to hospital sources, the man had been admitted to the hospital in the early hours of the morning by his wife after swallowing large quantities of unidentified medicines. He had been in the internal medicine clinic of the hospital when he jumped out of the window, hospital staff said. Jail uproar An attempt to smuggle drugs into Amfissa Jail in central Greece yesterday morning resulted in a small-scale riot that prompted the intervention of authorities who fired tear gas to break up protesters. The incident began when an unidentified individual threw a package containing drugs into the prison yard from the street. His arrest led to the intervention of an inmate who started smashing security cameras and setting fire to mattresses, prompting other prisoners to follow suit. Prison authorities got the go-ahead from a local prosecutor to use tear gas, and firemen were called in to extinguish the fires.