NEWS

Brussels wants OA briefing

The European Commission yesterday gave Athens an ultimatum to prove it was not breaking EU state aid rules in creating a new, trimmer version of ailing state carrier Olympic Airways (OA). One day after Parliament approved the formation of Olympic Airlines, the Commission demanded full details. The EU’s executive arm has to judge whether the plan to carve out a slimmed-down, profitable firm ripe for privatization complies with EU rules against governments bailing out their airlines. «To decide that, we need to have the official texts on what is happening, that is why (EU Transport Commissioner) Loyola de Palacio has decided to send Greece in the coming days a disclosure order,» Commission spokesman Gilles Gantelet said. Athens will have 20 days from receipt of the letter to answer, or face prosecution. Yesterday, an Athens prosecutor ordered an investigation into whether OA employees who had called in sick to work on Thursday – as a strike against the restructuring had been declared illegal – causing many flight cancellations, were truly unwell. (Reuters/Kathimerini)