ECONOMY

In Brief

Tourism industry employees threaten Olympics strike Olympic visitors face dirty sheets and stale coffee at this summer’s Athens Games unless a pay deal is agreed with tourist industry workers, a union grouping some 450,000 employees said yesterday. The union for workers in hotels, restaurants, tavernas and cafes wants an 8 percent pay rise and an Olympic bonus equal to two months pay. It has called a four-hour stoppage on May 27 and a 24-hour nationwide strike on June 17 to press its claims, and has said it could call a strike during the Games in August. «Yes, we are going to strike during the Olympics if our demands are not going to be met,» said Leonidas Karathanassis, head of the Panhellenic Federation of Catering and Tourist Industry Employees. Without a deal, Olympic visitors face dirty sheets and no coffee or traditional Greek food, he told reporters. According to the union, hotel workers are among the lowest paid in the tourism sector, with monthly wages averaging 612 euros. (Reuters). Alpha’s Costopoulos elected EET chairman, chief executive The Hellenic Bank Association (EET) yesterday unanimously elected Alpha Bank’s Chief Executive Yiannis Costopoulos as its new board chairman. Costopoulos will also head the association’s executive committee, with National Bank’s second-in-command Yiannis Pechlivanidis, EET said. Costopoulos replaces former National Bank of Greece Governor Theodoros Karatzas, who died two months ago. Besides Costopoulos, the board includes three vice chairmen – Takis Arapoglou, Karatzas’s successor at National Bank; Nikos Nanopoulos, EFG Eurobank’s chief executive and Giorgos Provopoulos, head of Emporiki Bank – and another member, new Agricultural Bank head Dimitris Miliakos. New OTE CEO Telecoms operator OTE announced yesterday it has chosen a new chief executive, put forward by the conservative government last month as part of a post-election reshuffle. «The board of directors announced that at a meeting held (yesterday) it has appointed Panayis Vourloumis as the new chairman and chief executive of OTE, to replace Lefteris Antonakopoulos,» OTE said. Vourloumis, 66, is expected to spearhead government plans to step up the pace of restructuring. Shareholders will be asked to ratify Vourloumis’s appointment at the annual general meeting in June. (Reuters) Titan award For the second year running, Titan Cement has secured a place among the 100 best European companies in a competition run by the European Union to identify the companies within the member states that provide the best working conditions for their employees, the company announced yesterday. The award was accepted on behalf of Titan by Public Relations Manager Spyros Xenos at a special ceremony in London on April 27. Protest The Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA) yesterday complained about the expulsion of cruise ships, used for popular one-day cruises near Athens, from the Flisvos Marina at Palaio Faliron. The marina has been leased to a private developer.