|Wednesday, 12 August 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 04-03-31
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Olympics security planning on schedule31/3/2004 9:02:00 μμ
The progress and priorities of security planning for the 2004 Athens Olympics were the focus of a meeting this afternoon at the Public Order ministry, attended by ministers, the President of the Athens 2004 organising committee and the chief of police. Immediately after, Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis said that security planning was progressing normally and everything would be ready within a set timetable.
Meanwhile, the President of the IOCs coordinating committee, Dennis Oswald, today expressed satisfaction with the progress of Olympic projects, which have been delayed.
 General Confederation of Greek Labour calls 24-hour strike today31/3/2004 9:02:00 μμ
Greece's largest trade union, the General Confederation of Greek Labour, called a general strike today, demanding an eight-percent wage rise. It has flatly rejected a pay offer of 3.2 percent by employers. The 24-hour strike crippled the public sector and left commuters without public transport. However, Olympic Airlines flights took place as scheduled, but 30 international flights were cancelled. Building contractors for Olympic projects and the organising committee said they were not concerned about the strike, as the time could easily be made up.
 Olympic Flame arrives in Athens31/3/2004 8:48:00 μμ
In the presence of the President of the Greek Republic, Costis Stephanopoulos, the Olympic Flame arrived early this evening at the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, to the musical accompaniment of Canto Olympico by world-renowned Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. The flame was lit shortly before 8pm, Greek time, by champion runner and the final torch-bearer, Katerina Thanou.
 Papandreou warns of possible negative response to Cyprus referendum31/3/2004 8:44:00 μμ
In Athens, the leader of the main opposition Pasok party, George Papandreou, last night spoke by phone to special UN envoy Alvaro de Soto, clarifying that if the demands of the Greek-Cypriot side are not satisfied, there cannot be a positive response to the proposed referendum.
In statements made later, Papandreou said he hoped for the most viable solution to the long-standing Cyprus dispute, noting that negotiations should continue right up to the last moment.
 Weather forecast31/3/2004 8:38:00 μμ
A cloudy and mild day is forecast, with temperatures in Athens ranging from 6 to 16 degrees centigrade, and in Thessaloniki from 8 to 13 degrees.
 Greece says chances for Cyprus deal are "poor"31/3/2004 8:38:00 μμ
The United States urged Greeks, Turks and Cypriots to strike a historic deal at unification talks today, but Greece described the prospects as "poor", as a midnight deadline approached. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was set to announce later today a plan to end a 30-year partition of the island, even if there is no accord. Absence of agreement, however, would put the outcome of planned referendums in the Greek and Turkish zones of Cyprus in doubt.