ECONOMY

In Brief

US ambassador commends Greek economic policy Greece has made a bold move in bringing transparency to its public finances and is opening up to the international economy, US Ambassador Charles Ries said yesterday. «As Demosthenes said: Credibility is the greatest asset for the acquisition of money,» he said at an event of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce at the Athens Concert Hall. The new development law on investment incentives «promises to turn the attention of the economy to sectors open to international competition, such as tourism, information technology and financial services,» he said, but cautioned that further bold reforms will probably be required in labor regulations, privatizations and social insurance. Greece introduces EU directive on aerial emission restrictions With a delay of more than two years, the Environment and Public Works Ministry yesterday incorporated into Greek legislation a European Union directive (81/2001) concerning the control of atmospheric emissions, under the threat of a looming adverse ruling by the European Court. The directive sets upper limit targets for vehicle and industrial aerial emissions to be achieved by 2010: 523 kilotons for sulphur dioxide, 344 for nitrogen oxides, 261kt for volatile organic compounds and 73kt for ammonia. The attainment of the targets requires the drafting of a national program which will allocate responsibilities to specific ministries. Gas pipeline A Swiss company plans to build a natural gas pipeline from Greece to Italy, traversing Albania, to supply its four power plants in Italy, a company official said yesterday. Switzerland’s Elektrizitatz-Gesellschaft Laufenburg AG, known as EGL, was conducting a feasibility study for the 230-kilometer (138-mile) pipeline, said Robert Klein, head of European logistic. EGL needs to supply four power plants it is building in Italy with 3.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The pipeline, which would link with the Greek system and travel through Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy, would transport 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually. «For us, the most economic solution was to build a pipeline via Southeast Europe to Italy,» Klein said, adding that construction should begin in mid-2007 and end by early 2009. The company was planning to spend 250 million euros on the land pipeline and compression station in Vlore, and 180 million euros on the offshore section to Italy, Klein said. (AP) Intralot in FYROM Lottery systems developer and operator Intralot said yesterday it has signed a six-year contract to organize, operate and manage fixed-odds betting games in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Intralot will select events for betting, set odds, monitor transactions on a real-time basis and manage risk. Under the contract, signed with FYROM’s National Lottery Organization, Intralot will be paid a percentage of sales. The company didn’t specify the percentage. Intralot already provides FYROM with an integrated online system for lottery and instant ticket games. The company also expects to assist in expanding FYROM’s Lottery Organization’s sales network of 220 outlets. (AP)