ECONOMY

In Brief

Inflation slows down in January, sales and telecom rates lead the drop Greece’s consumer price inflation slid to 2.9 percent in January, year-on-year, from 3.1 percent in December, the National Statistics Service (ESYE) said. According to ESYE, the decline was due to a smaller rise in fuel prices and to a 5.6 percent average fall in telecom service rates. In relation to December, the index stood 0.7 percent lower, mainly due to the opening of the sales season. The average inflation rate over the 12 months to January was 3.5 percent, equal to the respective period ending a year ago. The January 2003 year-on-year rate was also 3.1 percent. Agricultural Hellenic Insurance wins Olympic civil liability contract Agricultural Bank of Greece subsidiary Hellenic (Agrotiki) Insurance has won a 4.5-million-euro contract to provide civil liability coverage to Athens 2004, the organizers of the Olympic Games, from May 1, 2004 to December 31, 2005, following an international tender. The policy provides cover of up to 200 million euros per case against injury and material or immaterial loss that may be suffered by Athens 2004 staff, athletes, media workers, sponsors’ guests, security forces and volunteers, as a result of accidents in the course of any event at Olympic venues during the period in question. It also covers Athens 2004 with 5 million euros per case for accidental damage to the environment. Burnout syndrome The syndrome of work burnout – otherwise known as occupational exhaustion – is not officially recognized as a disease and this is part of a lack in recording occupational hazards as well as studies of death on the job in Greece due to the absence of the appropriate mechanisms, a conference held by the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) heard yesterday. The syndrome is mainly attributed to poor organization and intensification of work, shift work and occasionally to the assignment of administrative tasks to unqualified and untrained staff. GSEE officials called for the stricter observance of labor laws and inspections of safety and hygiene regulations in the workplace, and said they will press for an occupational hazards insurance center, with a view to recognizing the syndrome as a disease by 2010. Coca-Cola Bulgaria’s Competition Authority has fined Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company 50,000 euros for violation of marketing and promotion regulations. The case concerned the offer of gifts in a promotion campaign – such as DVDs – which the country’s legislation forbids if their value exceeds that of the product. Entrepreneurship The Federation of Greek Industries (SEV) is holding a forum on the entrepreneurship and training of young people at the Evgenidou Foundation, 387 Syngrou Avenue, tomorrow at 10.30 a.m. Call rates Telepassport alternative telecoms provider will introduce a rate of 0.03 euro per minute for calls on weekdays and Saturdays and 0.023 euro on Sundays as of February 16. Charges for international calls will be levied per second.