ECONOMY

In Brief

Heads of public utilities insist on resigning; some will remain A number of heads of public utilities and organizations, such as Olympic Airlines, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Athens Urban Transport Organization and Hellenic Post, have submitted their resignations and will stay on until their replacements are appointed by the new government. The first two were said to have insisted on their resignations despite being asked to remain at a meeting yesterday with Transport and Communications Minister Michalis Liapis. All were asked to submit reports on outstanding business, particularly in relation to preparations for the Olympic Games. Separately, the government has accepted the resignation of the president of the Public Power Corporation, Dimitris Papoulias – who will be replaced at the end of April, but Managing Director Sergios Nezis is staying at his post. As yet, it is not known whether Lefteris Antonakopoulos, CEO of OTE Telecom, will keep his post. The State holds a major minority stake in OTE. The heads of public utilities have traditionally been political appointees. The government yesterday also announced the names of new general secretaries in the ministries of Economy and Finance, Interior, Development, Health, Culture and Education. Travel agents win court case on airline ticket commissions An Athens court has ruled that travel agents are entitled to a minimum 7 percent commission on airline tickets sold. The court heard an injunction brought by the Hellenic Association of Tourism and Travel Agents (HATTA) against a number of carriers which had decided to reduce the commission paid from 9 to 5 percent. KLM and Air France have already accepted the ruling. SEV The Federation of Greek Industries (SEV) has canceled today’s scheduled press briefing at noon. A new date will be set after the government’s policy statement on Thursday. Tourism Representatives of the tourism industry returning from the international travel show in Berlin said bookings for Greece this year are estimated at 2003 levels, despite the Olympic Games and the absence of the threat of war which affected business in 2003. They insist the country has not committed enough money for promotion of tourism abroad. Strintzis Ferry operator Strintzis Lines has sold its 1974-built Blue Sky vessel to Flanmare Shipping as part of a plan to renew its fleet, the company told the Athens bourse in a note. Blue Sky can carry up to 1,100 passengers. Strintzis reported 22 percent net profit growth to 4.94 million euros in 2003. Interwood Carpentry equipment exhibition «Interwood 2004» opens at the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) center today, and will last through March 21. American Express American Express Bank is to relocate its head office in Greece to the Prometheus Gas Business Center, 280 Kifissias Avenue, Halandri.