ECONOMY

In Brief

Borrowers call for protective ceilings for ballooning debts The National Federation for the Protection of Consumers, Citizens and Borrowers has called on the government and the Bank of Greece to adopt measures in support of those facing inability to repay debts. Federation officials asked in a press briefing this week that a final settlement of the chronic problem of excessive debts to banks due to compound interest on delayed repayments should provide for ceilings as follows: A maximum of three times the amounts of loans obtained in the 1980-1990 period and a maximum double for loans obtained between 1991 and 2000. They also called for a ban on the auctioning of first homes and said the final settlement should be attempted only in the framework of the Civil Code. Supreme Court upholds position of labor arbitration agency The Supreme Court has upheld an appeals court ruling that the operation of the Mediation and Arbitration Organization (OMED) in labor disputes is in line with constitutional provisions and international labor agreements. The Supreme Court, in its 380/2004 ruling, rejected all reasons cited by American Express Bank in a suit against OMED’s operation – established by Law 1876 of 1990 – and upheld the organization’s awarding of remuneration sums to 230 employees of the bank. MBAs The Athens Laboratory of Business Administration (ALBA) will present its full-time, English-language MBA program for September 2004 at the head office of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV), 5 Xenophontos Street, Syntagma, on Monday, April 26 at 6 p.m. More information on the program, for which ALBA is already accepting applications, is available at www.alba.edu.gr/academic/mba/, or from Theoni Triantafyllidou at 210.896.4531-8. Separately, the Hellenic Business Management Society (EEDE) has announced that its new Athens series of graduate seminars in Greek for general managerial staff will begin on May 7. Two other long-term programs leading to the Advanced Certificate in Sales & Marketing and the Diploma in Sales Management, which are presented in cooperation with UK’s Institute of Sales and Marketing Management, will begin on May 17 and 24 respectively. More information may be obtained from N. Vlassopoulos (tel 210.2112000-9 or log on to www.eede.gr). Oil exploration The Prinos field in the northern Aegean Sea region is Greece’s most promising area for hydrocarbon exploration, geology professor Andreas Georgakopoulos of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University told a recent conference in the city. He said exploration in the Ionian Sea to the west has been abandoned while other efforts in western Greece have proved fruitless to date. In Prinos, oil is being welled from two deposits and the company drilling in the area is planning to expand exploration elsewhere in the region. Hellas Jet Hellas Jet, Greece’s youngest airline, provides a free Executive Valet Parking service at Athens airport for holders of its Supreme and Exclusive Card of Hellas Jet Club. For more details, tel 210.353.4260.