ECONOMY

In Brief

EETT bars Vodafone from doubling rates for alternative providers Telecoms regulator EETT said yesterday it approved an injunction preventing mobile operator Vodafone-Panafon from levying higher rates for heavy usage, arguing they distorted market competition. The regulator acted after seven carriers complained over Vodafone-Panafon’s decision to double fixed-to-mobile charges for usage exceeding 1,000 minutes to 0.186 cents per minute. The group includes Algonet, Forthnet, Lannet, Net One, Teledome, Telepassport and Vivodi. EETT said it ordered Vodafone-Panafon to suspend the rates as they «would lead to market distortion and hinder new alternative providers from competing with mobile operators’ corporate schemes,» with the latter substantially lower. The operator had said the new tariffs were meant to stop the financial drain on the company caused by carriers acquiring large bundles of minutes and reselling them to their corporate clients at competitive rates. (Reuters) Commission takes action over railways, fishing and pollution The European Commission decided yesterday to take legal action against Greece and other EU members for failing to meet directive deadlines on legislation concerning development of the EU’s railway network. Greece and eight other fellow EU members – Austria, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UK – will need to face the European Court for failing to implement three directives by a March 15 deadline. The Commission also decided to file legal action against Greece, Belgium, Finland and the Netherlands for failing to meet vessel safety regulations in fishing boats over 24 meters in length. The Commission also issued a reasoned opinion to Greece, as well as Austria, Italy, Finland, Luxembourg and Portugal, for failing to implement shipping sector directives on safety standards and sea pollution prevention. Serbia exploration London-listed Hereward Ventures Plc said said its Serbian subsidiary company had been granted two prospecting permits in southern Serbia. «Hereward believes the potential for new discoveries is high and that the company has a strategic advantage as the first European company to obtain prospecting rights in Serbia in recent times,» the statement said. The two permits are located in the Lece mining district of southern Serbia, Ivan Kula and Tulare, and cover 100 and 50 square kilometers respectively. «We believe the two permit areas have excellent exploration and development potential as they are located in a large epithermal district where relatively little exploration has occurred,» Managing Director David Bramhill said. The Tulare permit was previously explored by the Serbian state for copper and also contains gold prospects. (Reuters) Mining The Mining Companies Association (SME) has called for an amendment to the recently unveiled investment subsidies (development) law to include all metal mining, industrial mineral and marble quarrying enterprises, with particular reference to those engaged in research and preparatory activities. It said investment in environmental reclamation should also be included.