In Brief

Greece wants phased trimming of CSF funds after 2006 Athens favors a two-tier system for EU structural funds after the expiry of the current Third Community Support Framework (CSFIII) in 2006, with a phased reduction in resources going to the present member states after enlargement, according to the Greek presidency’s policy guidelines presented by Deputy Economy Minister Christos Pachtas yesterday. The position also appears to enjoy the support of larger EU members with poor regions which take the view that the new members cannot receive «abundant» funds without the necessary infrastructure to utilize them. Greece also proposes that the beneficiaries of CSFIV be regions with income per capita of under 75 percent of the EU average; special provisions would apply for those exceeding this norm, Pachtas said. Also, structural fund resources to member states must remain at the present ceiling of 4 percent of their GDP. It is too early to say how much Greece will receive from CSFIV. Neighbors to seek EU aid for pipeline project Greece and Bulgaria will seek EU financial aid amounting to 100-120 million euros for the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project, Bulgaria’s Public Works Minister Valentin Tserovski announced yesterday. Bulgaria has a 227-million-euro share in the project. The intergovernmental agreement (also including Russia) for the construction of the pipeline is expected to be signed tomorrow during Tserovski’s official visit to Greece. The agenda also includes regional cooperation and construction of border crossings. A meeting on December 3, during which the three countries were to sign a memorandum of cooperation on the pipeline project, was postponed at Russia’s request. ( Turk trade deficit up Turkey saw its trade deficit increase by 39.6 percent in the first 11 months of last year, the country’s state statistics institute said. The trade gap widened to $12.963 billion from $ 9.284 billion year-on-year. Imports rose by 17.9 percent to $44.756 billion, while exports climbed by 10.9 percent to $31.792 billion in the same period, the institute said. In 2001, the depreciation of the currency helped Turkey cut its trade deficit by 65.1 percent to $9.32 billion (AFP) Eskimo White goods firm Eskimo’s planned absorption of Fujitsu General Europe holds the prospect of creating one of the biggest manufacturers of air conditioners in Europe, while also improving the firm’s market shares, bourse picture, financial structure and liquidity, company officials said. Telecoms academy The Thessaloniki-based Telecommunications and IT Research Institute of Southeastern Europe (INA) plans to launch its regional telecommunications academy in March, President Vassilis Takas said. INA Academy, whose links in Balkan capitals will be ready in two years’ time, will host its first seminar on band management on April 17 and 18. ECTRI Aristotle University’s Professor Giorgos Yiannopoulos has been elected chairman of the French-based European Conference of Transport Research Institutes (ECTRI) for a two-year term.

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