NEWS

IN BRIEF

Two pilots bail out from burning air force jet An air force photo reconnaissance jet crashed in the mountains south of the central Greek town of Trikala yesterday morning but both pilots were rescued after bailing out safely. The 32-year-old RF-4E had taken off from the 110 Fighter Wing at Larissa on a training mission with another jet. Captain Constantinos Yiannoulis and First Lieutenant Sotirios Magotsios landed on snow-clad slopes near the village of Kleinovos, and were rescued shortly afterward by a Super Puma helicopter. Government hints at equality Deputy Labor Minister Rovertos Spyropoulos hinted yesterday that the government wants to end working women’s privilege of earlier retirement to that of men yesterday, earning the applause of women participants in a conference on «Social Security Reform and Gender Equality» and criticism from (male) union leaders. Socialist Euro-MP Anna Karamanou, the conference organizer, said earlier retirement for women reflected their second-class status in the labor market and criticized unionists for «regarding motherhood… as a sort of severe disability.» «Until we achieve equality in women’s access to the workforce, we are obliged to defend women’s rights,» replied Christos Polyzogopoulos, president of the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE). Other unionists criticized Spyropoulos and said that if the government held such positions, a dialogue on social security reform could prove impossible Pipeline protest. Residents of the northeastern Athens suburb of Aghia Paraskevi are demanding a halt to work on a pipeline destined to transport fuel from the Aspropyrgos refinery through 20 suburbs to the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport at Spata. About 600 meters of the pipeline run through Aghia Paraskevi, whose mayor Vassilis Yiannopoulos told Kathimerini yesterday that locals were concerned that the Public Works Ministry would not be overseeing the project. Ministry secretary-general Giorgos Ganotis said the ministry inspection order would be issued within 10 days and that until then no work would be carried out. The placement of the pipeline through Aghia Paraskevi is temporary. It will run under the Attiki Odos when completed. Nisyros volcano. Authorities on the Aegean island of Nisyros have called in experts to examine a crack discovered last Saturday on the island’s dormant volcano. In some places the crack is as much as 2.5-3 meters wide and over 5 meters deep. The volcano was last active in 1888. Bus strikes. Athens’s blue buses (OASA) will not be running between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. and from 10 p.m. to midnight from tomorrow through Friday. Union secretary Ioannis Kiousis told Kathimerini the strike was to protest continual changes to bus routes and the obstacles created by illegally parked cars. Accident ruling. An Athens court yesterday heard that a fire engine that overturned in the southern Athens suburb of Voula in July 1999, killing two firefighters, was in need of major repairs when the accident occurred. According to an experts’ report, the brakes and the tires were faulty. The prosecutor has lodged charges against current and former officials of the fire brigade.