ECONOMY

OTE plans to shed 6,000 jobs in an effort to staunch flow of red ink

OTE Telecom’s CEO Panayis Vourloumis told employee representatives at a meeting late on Tuesday that the company has a plan to shed 6,250 jobs in 2005 through a combined compulsory and voluntary retirement scheme, and asked for their cooperation, sources said. He is said to have warned that OTE, which is projected to post losses of 21 million euros and will not pay out a dividend this year, will become a problematic enterprise without the measure, which will involve those with 27 years of service and are over 50 years in age. According to Vourloumis, the jobs shed, which would bring the number of staff down to almost 10,000, would cost 1.5 billion euros, but would be followed by about 2,000 new hirings on lower wages. Last night, OTE said in a statement that at the meeting Vourloumis discussed «certain scenarios relating to issues of reorganization and voluntary retirement so that OTE may cope with the conditions of the deregulated telecoms market.» «Any other published comments relating to economic data and forecasts are not the official position of the organization,» added the statement.