ECONOMY

In Brief

Mobile operators to reduce charges for calls from fixed-line phones Cellular phone operators CosmOTE and Panafon-Vodafone will have to set their interconnection rates according to transparent cost-based principles, applying the same terms as interconnected organizations offering the same services, and meeting all reasonable requests for access to their networks by rivals, the National Telecommunications and Posts Commission (EETT) said. The decision is in line with EU legislation concerning mobile operators with market shares greater than 25 percent. EETT, which has already told the two operators to reduce termination charges, said the implementation of the decision will cause rates for calls from fixed-line to mobiles to drop by more than 30 percent. OTE appoints new CEO in Romtelecom OTE Telecom said yesterday it had appointed a new chief executive to head its Romanian operation as the Greek operator gears up to turn cash-strapped Romtelecom around. OTE said James Hubley would take over at Romtelecom as of March 1, after 30 years of experience at telecoms companies such as AT&T, Bell Canada and Cesky Telecom. OTE recently increased its stake in Romtelecom to a majority. It said last week it planned to cut at least 9,000 jobs over the next two years. (Reuters) Social spending Greece’s social spending rose 42.6 percent in the period 1995-2000, outperforming all other EU partners whose average rise in the same period was 8.7 percent. As a result, social spending rose from 22.9 percent of GDP to 26.4 percent, but was still below the EU average of 27.3 percent. In terms of Purchasing Power Units, social spending per capita is 66 percent of the EU average, just above Spain and Portugal. Pensions absorb 49.4 percent of social spending (46.4 percent in the EU15) and healthcare 26.6 percent. Egypt-Cyprus Egypt and Cyprus are to sign an agreement in Cairo on Monday for exclusive rights in the economic zone areas extending 200 kilometers from their respective coasts in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cypriot Trade Minister Nikos Rolandis said. PC Systems IT Pouliades group member PC Systems has won a 6.98-million-euro tender to install an Aeronautics Information System for the Civil Aviation Authority, in collaboration with Germany’s Aviation Management AG. The system will serve 50 Greek airports. OPAP State-controlled gaming and lottery firm OPAP is to expand its 160-outlet network in Cyprus, where it has been active since 1969, now planning to offer the popular Stoichima football betting game. More details will be announced together with the release of the company’s 2002 results at the end of the month, OPAP said in a statement. Telecom rates OTE Telecom yesterday announced reductions of up to 30 percent in rates for leased lines and its datapack service, both for corporate clients, as of March 1. Additional 5 percent discounts will apply for telecom service providers.