ECONOMY

In Brief

Development of conference tourism harder than it looks Greece will have to compete with 60 other countries to establish itself in conference tourism, the first international conference on the conference industry heard yesterday. Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) officials said conference tourism is now a priority after the success of the Olympics. However, former GNTO chief Yiannis Patelis said Greece’s prospects have improved but remain low, as more top-quality services in the form of accredited offices, conference centers and hotels are required. Costas Constantinidis, CEO of Heliotopos, the event’s organizers, called for a standing annual international event in Greece on the conference industry, despite a globally saturated market. Supreme Court details criteria of fair dismissal The Supreme Court has ruled (412/2004) that layoffs by firms claiming financial impotence have to comply with «unbiased» criteria of good will and ethics, as required by Article 281 of the Civil Code. According to the ruling, the decision for laying off workers among a number belonging to the same professional category and speciality must take into account performance, seniority, age, family circumstances and economic situation. Kotsovolos The Athens Stock Exchange has relegated electrical goods retailer Kotsovolos to the B market («low liquidity») and struck it off the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80, FTSE/ASE 140 and Parallel Market indices, effective Monday. The development comes after UK electrical goods retailer Dixons raised its stake in the firm close to 80 percent, with the aim of delisting Kotsovolos from the ASE. AIA distinction Athens International Airport has become the first Greek company to win the European Commission’s GreenLight award for adopting a series of energy-saving measures in lighting that contribute to limiting the greenhouse effect. GreenLight is a voluntary program launched in February 2000 by the Commission’s General Directorate for Energy and Transport, committing public and private corporations to reducing electric energy use for lighting. In Greece, GreenLight is promoted and coordinated by the Center for Renewable Energy Sources. Protecta in top 500 For the third year running, Greek firm Protecta has been listed among Europe’s 500 fastest developing companies in 2004, according to the European organization «GrowthPlus.» Protecta, which produces fortified security doors, kitchen and wardrobe furniture and wooden shutters, took the 290th spot. It has applied for listing on the Athens bourse. Hyatt Regency Hotel and casino group Hyatt Regency Hellas reported a 10.6 percent rise in net nine-month pretax profit to 52.8 million euros after minorities. Turnover rose 33.4 percent to 220.3 million euros. Earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA) were up 28.4 percent to 81.2 million.