NEWS

This Week

MONDAY Foreign Minister George Papandreou travels to Brussels for a meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers. The nascent European rapid reaction force is expected to come high on the agenda. – NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, US Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston, arrives in Athens to attend activities commemorating the 50th anniversary of Greece’s entry into NATO. Ralston is expected to meet with Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and other top government and military officials. – The Hellenic Management Association (EEDE) and the Greek section of the European Journalists’ Union organize a conference on «Businesses Before the New Economy.» National Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos and Greece’s European Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou will be the keynote speakers. To January 29, at the Athens Divani Caravel hotel. – Farmers in Thessaly hold a protest rally at the Vale of Tempe, possibly using their tractors to block the National Road between Macedonia and Thessaly. – Athens University hosts a ceremony to present the Ioannis Kapodistrias Medals for 2001, at 7 p.m. at the university’s ceremony hall at 30 Panepistimiou St. This year’s honorees are Dr Alfonso Martinez Diez, professor of Greek philosophy at the University of Madrid; Dr Erika Simon, professor of archeology at Wurzburg University; Dr Grigori L. Arch, professor at Moscow University; Niki Goulandris, head of the Museum of Natural History; and the late professor of Cambridge University, Dr Nicholas Hammond. – Teachers at state Technical Colleges (TEI) in the prefectures of Patras and Larissa strike against aspects of a recent law that upgraded TEIs to university status. Their colleagues in Athens stage a similar strike. WEDNESDAY Prime Minister Costas Simitis travels to Brussels for talks with European Commission President Romano Prodi. He is also expected to address the College de l’Europe in Bruges. To Thursday. – Athens 2004 Olympic Organizing Committee organizes a promotional event for volunteerism for the 2004 Olympics. Popular Greek singers such as Alkistis Protopsalti, Marios Frangoulis and Dionysis Savvopoulos, will perform. At the Athens Olympic Stadium. For details call 010. 2004.074. THURSDAY The Greek Communist Party (KKE) organizes nationwide protest rallies against recent labor and health sector reforms. At 6 p.m., protesters in Athens will gather in Kotzia Square, and those in Thessaloniki in front of Venizelos’s statue. – Deadline for talks with Australia’s Integrated Airline Solutions (IAS) regarding the sale of a majority stake in national carrier Olympic Airways. FRIDAY Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Security Rovertos Spyropoulos begins talks with the boards of social security funds. The outlook for the social security organizations will top the agenda. SATURDAY President Costis Stephanopoulos pays an official visit to Damascus, Syria where he is to hold talks with top government officials on bilateral and regional affairs. To Monday.