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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 02-02-20
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 NEWS IN ENGLISHTHE VOICE OF GREECE
20/2/2002 2:56:00 μμ
 NEW PLANS FOR OAThe government is adopting a new plan for the salvation of Olympic Airways after the failure of the attempt to privatize Greece s national airliner, which has lasted more than a year.
The plan foresees a partition into two companies, cutbacks on non-profitable flights, changes in working contracts and personnel cutbacks, as well as searching for the necessary capital from banks and private individuals.
According to information, the government is promoting a modernization program for Olympic, one similar to that of Swissair.
his program foresees the partition of Olympic Airways into two companies, one of which will be responsible for debts and all other activities of OA, except for flights, which will be the responsibility of the new company.
The "old" OA will specifically be responsible for all land based services, catering and the technical base, activities which are expected to be sold before the closing of the company, and only in the case that the "new" OA does not ask to take up some of them. In this new Olympic airways, which will take over both commercial and passenger traffic, all employees necessary for the new flight plan of the company will be "transferred".
A search for new investors to "finance" this venture will take place in the next three months.
The government is optimistic that the salvation plan it is promoting will receive the approval of the European Union, while for it to be applied an amount of 180 million euro is necessary. The final decision on OA restructuring program is expected to be made today by the cabinet.
 Court ruling expected on doctors strikes todayThe Athens court will rule today whether the strike of the doctors of IKA ( the Social security Fund ) is illegal and abusive.
Meanwhile, the Civil Servants Union (ADEDY) will declare a four-day strike, thus continuing the planned protest actions.
In a relative development, trade unionists seem reluctant over the government s proposals regarding a solution to the issue of making permanent employees thousands of contract workers in the broader public sector and the local administration.
The Civil Servants Union is calling for "generous reforms"
 Farmers plan ralliesFarmers representatives from Thrace, Macedonia, Thessalia and the Peloponese have decided to hold a rally in Athens on March 5th. However, farmers trade unionists of the Greek communist party have differentiated their stand and plan to hold a rally in Karditsa on March 6th. Agriculture Minister George Drys gave assurances to EU commissioner responsible for Farming issues Franz Fischler that Greece will have tabled to the European Commission a plan it has drawn up regarding compensations to producers who suffered serious damages from the recent bad weather. Mr. Fischler stressed that relative procedures will move quickly so that compensation payments may start immediately.
 Businessmen to take action on VATA meeting Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis will have today with representatives of small and medium size businesses is considered crucial, as its outcome will be decisive regarding the actions businessmen will take on the three year term Value Added Tax (VAT).
 Socrates Kokkalis faces espionage chargesBusinessman and Olympiakos football team president Socrates Kokkalis faces four counts of felony charges for espionage, money laundering, fraud and embezzlement.
He is also accused of committing active and passive bribery.
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy parliament deputy Panagiotis Kammenos submitted documents to the prosecutor based on which, Mr. Kokkalis was a Stazi spy who came to Greece to take the western technology to the Eastern Block countries.
The accusations concerning money laundering, fraud and embezzlement have to do with the Russian lotto case.
 Athens bourseBig losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The general index dropped by 1.74%, closing at 2,418.11 points, while the volume of transactions was at 153 million Euro. Of the stocks trading yesterday, 305 recorded losses and 31 had gains, while the value of 36 stocks remained unchanged.