NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC AIRWAYS

Strike continues but flights unaffected All scheduled Olympic Airways flights will run as normal today despite an ongoing strike by flight attendants, OA’s management said yesterday. The action started on Nov. 28, in the form of rolling 48-hour strikes, and is due to end tomorrow – when unionists are to meet to discuss further action. Protesting workers oppose plans to cut salaries and jobs in view of the national carrier’s bid to reinvent itself as a slimmer company – called Olympic Airlines and due to start operating Friday – ahead of privatization. Assad visit Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is due to arrive in Athens next Monday for a three-day visit, sources at the Greek Embassy in Damascus were quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying yesterday. Assad and his wife were invited to Greece by President Costis Stephanopoulos, who became the first Greek head of state to visit Syria in February 2002, the sources said. Assad and Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos discussed the role the EU could play in achieving peace in the Middle East at a meeting in Damascus yesterday. More convicts The number of inmates in Greek jails has more than doubled since 1989, according to figures made public by Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos during a meeting of Greek prosecutors in Athens yesterday. There are 8,800 convicts in the country’s jails now as compared to 4,280 in 1989, Petsalnikos said, adding that 3,748 of these (42.5 percent) are foreigners.