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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-10-02

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Parliament OKs OA, rail plans

  • [01] Parliament OKs OA, rail plans

    Amendments concerning ailing national carrier Olympic Airlines and debt-ridden Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) were ratified by Parliament on Thursday, with 51 votes in favour -- by ruling New Democracy deputies and a recently transpired independent MP -- as opposed to 49 'no' votes by the opposition.

    Earlier, Transport Minister Costis Hadzidakis reassured that the air carrier's name, emblem, employees, remote routes (mostly to the Greek islands) as well as its growth prospects perspectives have been secured.

    Tabling the government's agreement with the EU Commission, Hatzidakis said the plan bears "the seal and the green light" of the European Union, something that had not been the case with a plan by former PASOK minister Christos Verelis, which was rejected from the very beginning by the Commission at the time.

    Addressing the opposition, Hatzidakis said: "why do you want to extend the status existing today, since all the safeguards for OA are being secured? You are the conformist party of Greece; you are a force of reaction."

    Replying to arguments heard during the afternoon session, the minister said OA's overdue debts to the state amount to 359 million euros and total debts reach one billion euros.


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