OPINION

This Week

-Prime Minister Costas Simitis chairs a meeting of the Inner Cabinet. -Foreign Minister George Papandreou in Brussels for a General Affairs Council meeting. Developments in Afghanistan and the EU’s initiative for a new round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are expected to top the agenda. -Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou travels to Brussels for a two-day informal meeting of EU defense ministers. Talks will focus on security issues following September 11. -Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Zafeiropoulos to meet with the deputy prime minister of the Russian Federation, Valentina Matviyenko, at the Foreign Ministry. Talks will focus on issues such as energy and natural gas, while they are expected to sign a protocol on economic, industrial and technological cooperation. Russian President Vladimir Putin is to visit Greece next month. -Farmers hold rallies in Thessaloniki and Trikkala, protesting at low cotton prices, and demanding that tobacco subsidies not be reduced or abolished. TUESDAY The European Union holds a ministerial meeting on enlargement with candidate countries, including Cyprus, in Brussels. -Agriculture Minister Giorgos Drys travels to Brussels for a meeting of EU agriculture ministers. -The Institute of International Economic Relations (IIER) hosts a discussion on the conflict in Afghanistan and Central Asia at its conference hall, 16 Panepistimiou Street, at 6.30 p.m. WEDNESDAY The International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission arrives in Athens to see the state of Athens 2004 preparations. -Romanian President Ion Iliescu arrives in Athens on an official three-day visit. To Friday. -State budget for 2002 to be presented in Parliament. -The Special Court to hold a hearing on whether Greek courts can award claims for reparations against the German state, following lower courts awarding compensation for Greek World War II victims. FRIDAY The Natural History Museum of Crete is holding a seminar on the Management of Mountain Regions at the Polykentro of Iraklion, Crete. Tel. (081) 393.281, 393.273. SATURDAY The Movement of Free Citizens, headed by Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, opens its founding congress.