ECONOMY

In Brief

Tsochadzopoulos asks for consumers’ help in fighting price rises Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos urged consumers to contribute to the «war» against price rises by exercising critical judgment in their purchases. He said on the whole, the economy was stable and the expected 3.4-3.5 percent inflation rate for 2003 was not surprising given its dynamism and high growth rates, but acknowledged there was need for improving competitiveness in certain sectors. Separately, supermarket chain representatives promised Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis yesterday, «with the government’s help, to ask suppliers to minimize price readjustments in the next six months with a view to keeping inflation under 3 percent.» AIA is named ‘European airport of the year 2004’ Athens International Airport (AIA) said yesterday it had been named «European airport of the year 2004» by the Institute of Transport Management (ITM). AIA is 40 percent owned by German construction group Hochtief. ITM, which sets best-practice standards in Europe’s airport sector, said its award was based on criteria including innovation, customer service, cooperation with airline partners, facilities and environmental awareness. «The origin of Athens International Airport was an innovative one in that it broke new ground in the area of public-private cooperation. AIA was the first greenfield airport constructed with the participation of the private sector,» ITM said. (Reuters) Inflation Bank of Greece Governor Nicholas Garganas yesterday met successively with Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis and main opposition ND party economic affairs spokesman Nikos Nikolopoulos. Sources said the meetings focused on what the central bank considers a strong need for controlling inflation through fiscal and taxation policies which tame demand and boost growth. Regarding credit expansion, bank officials consider no definitive conclusions can be reached presently. General Bank The board of the Army Providence Fund, main shareholder in General Bank with a 38 percent stake, is meeting today to consider the three bids submitted in the tender for a strategic investor and management of the bank by Societe Generale, Aspis and Marfin. General’s labor union has called a 24-hour strike today, in support of demands that all jobs and working and social insurance rights are maintained. TVX Each of the 470 miners of the TVX gold mine will receive immediate aid of 2,000 euros as an advance on the salaries or severance packages they will receive when the mine is taken over by a new investment company called European Goldfields, Deputy Economy Minister Christos Pachtas said yesterday. The mine is in his Halkidiki constituency. FCUK Department store chain operator Notos Com announced the exclusive representation in Greece of UK clothing retailer French Connection. The first FCUK shop is projected to open soon in the Athens suburb of Glyfada.