ECONOMY

In Brief

Gov’t put weight behind Thessaloniki’s Expo 2008 bid The prime minister, Costas Karamanlis, and Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis yesterday expressed the government’s strong backing of Thessaloniki’s candidacy for World Expo 2008 to a visiting delegation of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE). The delegation is to visit the city today. Thessaloniki prefect Panayiotis Psomiadis has asked Agriculture Minister Savvas Tsitouridis to seek support of the city’s candidacy from the EU farm ministers’ council, in view of its proposed theme, «Mother Earth.» The other two candidates for Expo 2008 are Spain’s Saragossa and Italy’s Trieste. BIE’s general assembly will elect the winner in December. Greenpeace launches campaign against genetically modified foods Environmental organization Greenpeace is urging consumers to exercise vigilance and demand that manufacturers comply with the new EU legislation on the appropriate labeling of foodstuffs and animal feeds that contain genetically modified (GM) organisms. Officials told a press briefing that the new legislation is a strong weapon in consumers’ hands but one which also opens the way to GM foods, exempting eggs, meat, milk and dairy products from labeling. Consumers are urged to demand non-GM foods from manufacturers and retailers. Credit card fraud Emporiki yesterday became the first Greek bank to adopt Visa Intelligent Scoring of Risk (VISOR), a new credit card fraud-fighting system, Visa EU said. VISOR is a technologically advanced neural network which carries out exhaustive control in all credit card transactions, analyzing the consumer behavior of all card holders in combination with the profile of each commercial outlet, thereby improving the chances of locating fraud cases. EFG Eurobank Ergasias and ProBank are in the final stage of preparations for adopting VISOR, Visa EU said. Seven Cypriot banks have already decided to adopt it. The website www.visaeu.com contains further information. High-speed Internet Israeli firm Metalink Ltd will lead a consortium selected by the European Commission to develop the next generation of high-speed Internet technology, it said yesterday. Metalink, a maker of wired and wireless broadband communications silicon products, said in a statement the project will focus on ultra-high bit rate over copper technologies for broadband multi-service access. Consortium partners include France Telecom and Greece’s Hellenic Telecom (OTE), it added. (Reuters) New CEOs The government yesterday announced the appointment of 57-year-old retired civil servant Sotiris Kostakos, a law graduate, as the new chief executive of state-controlled gaming group OPAP, replacing Costas Koskinas. Kostakos has held various government posts in the sport and education sectors, including a three-year term as a sports judge. Athens-listed OPAP has a market capitalization of 4.53 billion euros. Separately, OTE Telecoms’ board of directors is projected to elect Panagis Vourloumis, 67, as new CEO on May 5. Vourloumis has considerable international experience in banking.