ECONOMY

In Brief

Public servants’ Monday stoppage to affect aviation Civil aviation workers said yesterday they would join a three-hour public servants’ walkout over wages that could disrupt airports around the country on Monday. The aviation workers’ union, OSYPA, said in a statement it had decided to join the work stoppage, beginning at noon local time, to show its opposition to the government’s incomes policy and to their exemption from receiving a bonus to civil servants. ADEDY, the umbrella group for civil service unions, has organised the walkout and a rally outside Parliament to protest at the government’s decision to grant 2.2-percent wage increases in the 2002 budget when it estimates inflation at 3.1 percent. The move is expected to disrupt all government services. The government said in its updated economic stability programme earlier this month, that it saw inflation next year at 2.8 percent, up from previous estimates of 2.2 percent. (Reuters) Difficulty for TVX Hellas investment overcome Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos said yesterday that obstacles impeding progress in TVX Hellas’s investment in the development of a base metals mine in Stratoni, Halkidiki, had been settled and a regional mining inspectorate had now given permission for work to continue. A spokesman for the company, which last week announced a suspension of operations, later reported cautious optimism. Concerning the company’s investment in a gold mine in Olympia in the same district, Tsochadzopoulos said it would have to await the Council of State’s ruling on issues of environmental effects which have stalled the investment for a number of years. Bank workers may strike over euro. The Bank Workers’ Union (OTOE) yesterday warned it may be forced to call industrial action even during the Christmas holiday period if employers continue to refuse payment for the extra work required for the transition to the euro. According to a statement, a meeting at the Labor Ministry proved fruitless as banks said they would ask the government to issue a legislative decree on the matter. A new meeting is scheduled for today. Globul wins Bulgarian award. Globul, OTE telecom’s Bulgarian mobile telephony subsidiary, yesterday received the Investment of the Year annual award for the most successful investment in Bulgaria. The award, given by the Association of Foreign Investors and the country’s main economic chambers for the fifth straight year, was presented by Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Vasilev to OTE International’s Managing Director Giorgos Skarpelis. The company has 100,000 subscribers a year after being awarded the relevant license. To date, it has invested $90 million and plans to invest a further $400 million in the next five years, targeting a 35-percent market share. Greece’s Viochalco metallurgy group, which recently acquired a 75-percent stake in Bulgaria’s second largest metallurgy plant, Stomana, was also listed among this year’s candidates. Total Greek investment in Bulgaria is estimated at $600 million.