ECONOMY

In Brief

Spending contained in Q1, but revenues below target General Accounting Office data yesterday showed budget expenditure being reined in during the first quarter of the year, falling by 4 percent year-on-year. Public revenues rose by 5 percent, below the original 7 percent target and even further than the revised target of 10 percent mentioned in the Stability and Growth program recently submitted to Brussels. The aim for 2005 is to end it with a 4-4.5 percent budget deficit and take it below 3 percent at end-2006. Economy Ministry officials stress that spending cuts must be combined with acceleration of structural reforms. Great rise in demand for company staff in Greece Demand for company staff surged 32 percent in the first quarter of 2005 compared to last quarter of 2004, but was slightly lower in comparison with last year’s first quarter, largely due to the Olympic effect on the first half of 2004, management consultants Kantor Humanis said. The strongest demand was recorded in the services sector, which accounted for 29.6 percent of vacancy ads posted, followed by commerce with 26.4 percent and industry with 23.4 percent. The data show strong demand for sales staff in all sectors, and in financial services staff mainly in commerce and services. Marketing staff is sought by commerce and industry, while services focus on computerization more than any other sector. In the January-March period there was a notable rise in medium-level staff demand, with 26.6 percent of ads seeking section directors, from 22.9 percent in the previous quarter. MeDiet 2005 The second international conference on «Traditional Mediterranean Diet: Past, Present and Future,» or MeDiet 2005, is opening today at the National Hellenic Research Foundation in Athens. The event aims to examine the evolution, benefits and state of research on this diet, as well as the potential and problems associated with its survival. The main focus of this year’s conference will be on olive oil and traditional food products. The conference ends on Friday and is co-sponsored by Kathimerini. For more information log on to www.mediet.net. Plug-pulling OTE state telecom cut the lines for landline telephony rival Teledome subscribers yesterday after the private network allegedly failed to settle its debts to OTE and has not provided a letter of guarantee as required by the National Telecoms and Post Committee (EETT). The latter invited representatives of both sides in an effort to find a solution and have the Teledome subscribers reconnected. Poultry ban Bulgaria banned imports of poultry meat, eggs and live birds from the northern Greek province of Kilkis due to an outbreak of the highly contagious Newcastle disease, the Agriculture Ministry said yesterday. Although the virus causes, at worst, only minor illness in humans, it spreads quickly and can prove fatal for poultry. (Reuters)