NEWS

This Week

Tuesday UN envoy Alvaro de Soto due in Athens for talks with senior officials on Cyprus issue. – Foreign Minister George Papandreou and European Affairs Minister Tassos Yiannitsis are to hold separate meetings with Agriculture Minister Giorgos Drys, National Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos, Labor Minister Dimitris Reppas and Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou to discuss issues pertaining to Greece’s EU presidency. – Zappeion Hall, after a 6-million-euro refurbishment, is to be handed over to the Olympics and Behests Committee and the Foreign Ministry, to be used for purposes of the Greek EU Presidency. – Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou visits Thessaloniki for talks with Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos on the city’s planned metro. – European Socialist Party Members of the European Parliament are in Athens to meet with government ministers to discuss priorities for Greece’s EU presidency. The group’s leader in the EP, E. Baron Crespo, and European Affairs Minister Yiannitsis will hold a news conference at the Foreign Ministry at 2 p.m. – A seminar on «International Relations» organized by the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy is being held at the St George Lycabettus Hotel. Foreign Minister George Papandreou, New Democracy opposition party leader Costas Karamanlis and US Ambassador Thomas Miller will be among the speakers. To January 16. Tel. 210.333.3494. Wednesday Twelve people, including Abdullah Ocalan, go on trial in Athens on charges involving the Kurdish rebel leader’s illegal entry into Greece in early 1999. Ocalan, who is jailed in Turkey, will be tried in absentia. – Attica taxi drivers stage a 48-hour strike demanding access to bus lanes and protesting against planned reforms that include the establishment of taxi companies. To Thursday. – Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Anomeritis meets with Foreign Minister Papandreou and Transport Minister Christos Verelis to discuss priorities of the Greek EU presidency on maritime transport. – Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos presents the program of the EU presidency on culture and sports. Thursday The European Commission, headed by President Romano Prodi, arrives in Athens to attend the official ceremony marking the launch of the Greek EU presidency. Friday Prime Minister Costas Simitis and European Commission President Romano Prodi hold a joint press conference at the prime minister’s office at Maximos Mansion. – PM Simitis to chair a joint meeting of the Cabinet and European Commission at the Maximos Mansion, where he will present Greece’s program for the EU presidency. – Merchant Marine Minister Anomeritis to hold talks with commissioner Antonio Vitorino on migration and commissioner Loyola de Palacio on transportation. – New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis to meet with members of the European Commission. Saturday Merchant Marine Minister Anomeritis to meet with International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General William O’Neil.