In Brief

GSEE chief preparing for a ‘struggle’ against economic policy General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) President Christos Polyzogopoulos yesterday called for worker vigilance against the government’s economic policy plans and said the main opposition PASOK party-affiliated worker group PASKE, to which he belongs, will dedicate itself to «a frontal struggle against neo-liberalism.» He said the government’s draft budget, unveiled late last month, is against workers, by providing for cuts in investment which will fuel unemployment and for an incomes policy which he described as an «austerity» [measure]. Germanos places high priority on foreign expansion Phone and accessories retailer Germanos places high priority on expansion abroad and expects foreign operations abroad to account for around 20 to 22 percent of group sales this year and 50 percent by 2006, officials said during a presentation to institutional investors yesterday. The group’s most recent moves have been to invest $1.5 million in Ukraine’s Mobitel chain and to acquire a 20 percent stake in the $73.5 million acquisition of Uzbekistan’s Daewoo Unitel. Germanos confirmed its target for a 14 to 16 percent rise in earnings per share this year, and reiterated its full-year estimates for earnings per share between 1.30-1.32 euros versus 1.14 euros in 2003, on sales growth of about 15 percent to 800-820 million euros. Germanos has more than 830 outlets in Greece and Eastern Europe. Hellenic Shipyards The European Commission said yesterday Greece must repeal certain legal provisions which allow the state to cover future retirement costs at Hellenic Shipyards and to relieve Hellenic Shipyards from any tax or other duties with respect to reserves and amounts for the increase of share capital, which are used to offset losses of previous years. These measures are incompatible with EU state aid rules as they constitute operating aid. The Greek government is asked to repeal both measures and to recover any aid that may have been granted. Piraeus port Piraeus is among eight European ports certified at the Port Environmental Review System (PERS) and will be able to exchange information and experience so as to improve its environmental practices. PERS was developed by the European Sea Ports Organization and the EcoPorts Foundation to tackle the environmental issues of each port according to its specific needs. The Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) completed its certification process in July and will receive its PERS certificate during a special ceremony at the OLP exhibition center tomorrow. Yapi Kredi Turkey has chosen JP Morgan to advise it on the sale of a controlling stake in Yapi Kredi, the country’s fourth-biggest bank, a source close to the company told Reuters yesterday. Turkish banking watchdog BDDK has approved JP Morgan to make the necessary technical preparations and submit proposals to the government on the method of sale for Yapi Kredi, a profitable bank that runs Turkey’s biggest credit card network. Of the total 51.9 percent stake to be sold, 39 percent belongs to Yapi Kredi’s parent company Cukurova Group and 12.9 percent to the savings insurance fund TMSF. (Reuters) Folli-Follie The Athens Stock Exchange said in its semiannual review of the blue chip FTSE/ASE-20 stock index yesterday it will drop Agricultural Bank and replace it with Folli-Follie. The change comes into effect on December 1.