NEWS

In Brief

TELEPHONE CODES

From tomorrow, 2 replaces initial 0 in all fixed-line numbers All fixed-line telephone numbers currently starting with a 0 will start with a 2 from tomorrow when a new dialing system comes into effect. In other words, Athens numbers will begin with 210 instead of 010. Internet dial-up numbers’ initial 0 will become an 8. Emergency and public information numbers will not change, neither will OTE state telecom charges. Mobile phone numbers will stay the same until January 19 when the initial 0 will change to 6. The changes, intended to cope with increasing demands, will be effective immediately. More information is available at 135. STATE ABUSE Prosecutor calls for crackdown to protect citizens, foreigners Supreme Court Prosecutor Evangelos Kroustallakis yesterday issued a circular to all prosecutors asking them be ruthless in punishing those responsible for abuse of Greeks and foreigners by state institutions. Kroustallakis also called for stricter handling of violations of workers’ rights, including non-payment of wages and transgression of safety laws. «Greeks and foreigners are treated by state bodies in a manner unbefitting a democratic and civilized society,» Kroustallakis noted. METRO WORKS Syngrou Avenue narrows Faliron-bound drivers on Syngrou Avenue will face disruption from tonight with the launch of works to build an underground parking lot at Syngrou Metro Station that Metro company Attiki had said would start last month. Faliron-bound lanes will be reduced from three to two, while the three Athens-bound lanes will remain untouched. The six-level, 660-space car park is scheduled for completion in May 2004. Drivers using Panaghi Tsaldari in Peristeri also face disruption until Monday as repair works continue to restore the road surface that buckled inward due to Metro works on Wednesday. Robbers caught Police in Kavala yesterday arrested six men for Thursday’s simultaneous raid on two banks in Eleftheroupolis, near the northern Greek town. Four Albanians admitted their part in the double heist and led officers to a weapons cache where a Kalashnikov rifle, shotgun and hand grenade were confiscated. Two Greeks were also being questioned after a search of one of their homes revealed two blood-stained motorcycles used in the raid. Food poisoning The food poisoning case which affected around 80 conscripts at the Kavouri air force base in Attica was an «isolated incident,» air force officials said yesterday. Air force doctors had to treat dozens of nauseous conscripts following the latter’s Thursday evening meal – of pork, tomato salad and walnut pie. Poll checks New legislation aimed at stricter controls on opinion polls is to be tabled in Parliament in November, government spokesman Christos Protopappas said yesterday. Health minister ill Health Minister Costas Stefanis was in stable condition yesterday after being rushed to hospital on Thursday with pains that tests later revealed to be due to acute gastroenteritis. The minister is due to be discharged from the Sismanogleio Hospital today. Billboard crackdown A joint decision by the Interior, Culture and Public Works ministries foresees a crackdown on illegal advertising billboards on buildings and beside roads, Deputy Public Works Minister Rodoula Zisi said yesterday. Zisi was responding to police figures presented in Parliament, according to which 570 new billboards have been erected despite the introduction of a law dictating their removal. Fired up Turkish national Sali Dermigan, 38, who was sacked from an industrial bakery in Koropi, south of Athens, after three months of work was arrested on Thursday after firing eight shots with a pistol at the factory building, police said yesterday. Cotton scam Seven cotton ginning mills and four cotton collection centers are to close after inspections revealed they had violated European Commission regulations governing the purchase of cotton, the Agriculture Ministry said yesterday.