ECONOMY

In Brief

Hotel workers on strike today, threaten action during Olympics Athens hotel workers are ready to go on strike during the August 13-29 Olympic Games unless a pay and Olympic bonus deal is agreed to with hoteliers, the hotel workers’ union, grouping some 7,500 employees, warned yesterday. Hotel employees will launch a 24-hour strike today to back their demands for an increase to their base monthly wage and an Olympic allowance, said Christos Katsotis, president of the Federation of Athens and Piraeus Hotel Employees. «We are prepared to strike during the Games period. We will go on strike again and again if hotel owners do not agree to a deal,» he said. The Athens Hotel Association said today’s strike is not expected to disrupt business. «It is a problem but it is not serious due to hotels’ low occupancy rate,» said George Tsakiris, president of the association. (Reuters) Ten biggest brokerages dominate ASE trading Greece’s 10 largest brokers out of the industry’s 84 shared 66.5 percent of trading business on the Athens Stock Exchange in the first half, up from 64.4 percent in the first quarter, according to official data. Excluding volume from pre-arranged block trades, the top 10 brokers had a combined 62.9 percent market share of the business. Total turnover in the first six months of the year, including crossing of blocks, reached 38.5 billion euros ($47.3 billion). Block trades amounted to 5.2 billion euros. Excluding block trades, the top brokerages, by market share, were EFG Eurobank Securities (15.29 percent), P&K Securities (11.05 percent), National Securities (9.69 percent), Alpha Finance (7.17 percent) and Sigma Securities (6.82 percent). (Reuters) Marina not ready The marina at Neo Faliron, next to the Peace and Friendship Stadium, may have been officially reopened but is not yet ready to accommodate cruise ships that cover the Poros-Aegina route from the Palaio Faliron marina, an exchange of letters between the construction company and port authorities has revealed. The cruise ships carry about 1,000 foreign passengers a day on one-day cruises but will no longer be able to use the Palaio Faliron marina due to the upcoming Olympic Games. The new marina was supposed to serve as the cruises’ departing point from July 1, authorities said. Public works The new procedure for awarding public works contracts will be unveiled today by the Environment and Public Works Ministry. It will replace the «mathematical formula» decried for helping award public projects to a restricted circle of contractors who were able to manipulate the process by making similar bids. The ministry has announced that it will return to the lowest-bidder system, but with safeguards to prevent the excessive discounts proven to be bogus as the works progressed. A financial study, unveiled yesterday, has also found that the mathematical formula method gave rise to the founding of many small subcontractors who were merely used to help larger contractors win the bids.