OTE at risk of sharp fall in leased-line revenues OTE Telecom could lose more than half its annual leased-line revenues if a court rejects its appeal against price cuts ordered by the regulator, a company source said yesterday. In December, telecoms regulator EETT told OTE to trim wholesale interconnection and leased-line rates charged to other carriers by at least 4 percent to alleviate pressure on smaller operators’ profit margins. This tariff reduction, together with a previous call for cuts of more than 50 percent for retail leased lines, meant leased-line rates were on the whole more than 50 percent cheaper, the source said. While implementing the rates, OTE decided to challenge EETT’s decisions in court. But a hearing of the case scheduled for April 27 was postponed to October 19, the source said. «If OTE loses its appeal, it could lose more than 100 million euros in lease-line revenues on a yearly basis,» the source warned, adding revenues from this sector came to 200 million euros in 2003. «We could see this revenue fall to 94 million euros this year.» A court victory on the other hand would mean EETT’s decision is invalid and OTE could demand back-dated payment at the original rates, making up the revenue loss, the source said. (Reuters) Cutting software piracy has multiple benefits A reduction in Greece’s high rate of software piracy, estimated at more than 60 percent, would bring about an equal measure of growth in the domestic information technology industry, boosting employment and public revenues through direct and indirect taxes, according to a study by IDC Consultants. A 10 percent reduction in the piracy rate by 2006 would produce 129 million euros in public revenues, create 1,900 new jobs and significantly improve the results of IT firms. According to the international Business Software Alliance (BSA), about four in 10 software products globally are pirated. Greece is found to have made important steps in battling the phenomenon in recent years. Appointments The government has announced the appointment of new heads to state-controlled enterprises: Petros Papageorgiou, economics professor at the University of Piraeus, to Olympic Airways; Odysseas Vlamis, aeronautics engineer, and Makis Kalligeros, secretary of the Chamber of Hotels, were appointed as OA’s managing director and vice president respectively; Anastassios Gonis, former chairman of the State Audit Council, to the Piraeus Port Authority; Iosif Glyniadakis, former president of Emporiki Bank, to the Athens Water & Sewerage Company (EYDAP); and Giorgos Yiannis, lecturer at the National Technical University, to Attiko Metro. Smart card Alpha Bank yesterday presented American Express’s Blue credit card, the first «smart» such card, carrying a chip which guarantees increased security in transactions. Blue carries perk programs connected with airlines, select hotels and retailers, and car rentals. The annual subscription fee is 28 euros.