ECONOMY

In Brief

Athens keen to boost EU’s industrial competitiveness Promoting productivity, innovation and competitiveness, the three key factors in which the EU lags behind the USA, are high priorities for the Greek presidency of the EU, Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos told a conference on «Industrial Policy in an Enlarged Europe» in Brussels yesterday. «Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the great importance of the environmental dimension and the qualitative advantage which sustainable development secures. This type of development also promotes employment and social cohesion, creating better conditions for economic growth… We shall give particular attention to the shipbuilding industry and sea transport generally, to the chemical industry policy, the biotechnology sector and very small firms,» he said. Germanos wins deal with latest telecoms newcomer The 300-branch-strong telephony and IT products retailer Germanos will distribute fixed-line and Internet products and services of Tellas, the telecom subsidiary created by the Public Power Corporation in collaboration with Italy’s Wind which is to launch operations in coming weeks. Germanos is also expected to announce a similar agreement with mobile operator Vodafone; it already serves clients of Vodafone’s two other competitors, CosmOTE and Telestet. Credit Lyonnais Credit Lyonnais is targeting a fast penetration of the Greek securities market and investment banking through organic growth and acquisitions, according to a statement by Eurocorp Securities (formerly Avax) – in which the bank recently acquired a majority stake – on the occasion of a visit to Athens by a 10-member delegation of Credit Lyonnais. «The know-how and synergies afforded to Eurocorp through its participation in Credit Lyonnais gradually strengthen our company’s and this will become evident in the near future.» Kardasilaris Listed fruit and nut firm Kardasilaris said in a statement to the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday that the large fire that gutted its big warehouse in Votanikos, Athens had still not been extinguished and that it was, therefore, impossible as yet to assess the total damage. The ASE on Monday suspended trading of the firm’s stock until the firm provided an assessment of the losses. Kardasilaris said it estimates the damage will be repaired in about two months and that it will be able to meet delivery dates through affiliates. It added that the firm is fully insured. OPAP State-run soccer pool and gaming firm OPAP said in a letter to the Athens bourse it is to appeal against a court ruling ordering it to pay software company Intralot 37.4 million euros annually, after a dispute arose over a contract for the technical base for horse- and dog-racing betting shops. Product safety The Development Ministry is to issue a tender for a study on a comprehensive action plan to protect consumers from violations of EU directives concerning product safety. «We will set up a National Market Supervision System… Our policy is not to police the market but to create a framework for prevention and ensuring quality control,» said Deputy Development Minister Alekos Kalafatis.