NEWS

In Brief

INFLATION

Cabinet discusses Iraq, decides to control water price The government is concerned that an international crisis over Iraq could push the price of oil to $38-40 per barrel, pushing prices in Greece even higher. The Cabinet yesterday discussed the problem of rising prices and decided to ask that bottled water display a proposed price. Commentators saw this as missing the point, noting that the Competition Committee, consumer unions and close inspections of the market were the best remedy for profiteering. FIRE TRAGEDY 94-year-old dies after being rescued from blaze with disabled daughter The relief after the rescue of a 94-year-old woman and her paralyzed 67-year-old daughter, who yesterday became trapped in their home in northern Greece after a fire broke out, was short-lived. The 94-year-old died shortly after firefighters extracted her from her home in the village of Drosohori, near Ioaninna. The daughter was in stable condition in the hospital. SMUGGLER JAILED Pole gets 5 years A court in Thesprotia, northwestern Greece, yesterday gave a five-year jail sentence to a Polish national for attempting to smuggle seven Iraqi immigrants to Italy via Greece, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Henryk Jozwicki was arrested last week at the northern port of Igoumenitsa as he was preparing to board a ferry to the Italian port of Ancona with the would-be migrants hidden in the tour bus he was driving. Set prices Suggested retail prices are to become obligatory for a total of 42 food products, including pasta, dairy goods, olive oil-based products as well as bottled water and soft drinks, according to European Commission legislation expected to be approved in the first half of October. Turf battle A government decision to allocate 14 ships belonging to the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) to the Port Police so that the latter can intensify its war on migrant smuggling will be at the expense of customs controls, customs and SDOE officials complained yesterday. The joint decision, signed yesterday by Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Anomeritis, Deputy Economy Minister Apostolos Fotiadis and the chief of the Port Police, will loosen the leash on smugglers by effectively ending strict SDOE inspections, according to customs officials who yesterday threatened a 48-hour strike. Health inspectors A newly-formed team of 134 health and safety inspectors is to launch exhaustive checks across the entire spectrum of state and private health services from October 2, Health Minister Costas Stefanis said yesterday. The inspectors will be «the crucial pivot on which the development of better health services will hinge,» Stefanis said. Bounced checks The first eight months of this year saw a 26.59-percent rise in the number of dud checks being issued, over the same time last year, the Hellenic Banks’ Association said yesterday. The overall value of the checks that bounced between January and August this year is 416.7 million euros, as compared to 324.09 million euros for the same period last year, the association said. Cyprus rape A 26-year-old Cypriot man, held on suspicion of having beaten and raped a 22-year-old British woman near the island’s Ayia Napa resort on Tuesday, has denied involvement but will be subjected to forensic tests, Cypriot police said yesterday. The man turned himself in to police on Wednesday after he heard he was being sought. Two other suspects were questioned and released, police said. The woman, who told police she had been kidnapped by three men, one of whom raped her, was yesterday in serious but stable condition. Television break The three state television channels ET-1, NET and ET-3 suspended their broadcasting for two hours last night as part of a protest by unionists demanding implementation of their collective employment contract. Protesters are demanding their current employers pay them an allowance, promised to them by the former president of Greek National Television (ERT), to make up for fluctuations in inflation levels.