ECONOMY

In Brief

Filling an institutional gap in SE Europe’s energy market The Institute of Energy for Southeast Europe (IENE) had its formal inauguration yesterday in Athens in the presence of Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and his deputy, Giorgos Salagoudis. The institute’s chairman, Costis Stambolis, said, «In today’s difficult but very promising energy landscape, the creation and active participation of an independent organization such as IENE fills a serious gap that exists in Greece and Southeast Europe as regards the institutional representation of the energy sector.» He said IENE is in a position to offer independent and high-quality expertise and hopes to contribute to a better understanding of energy issues, the promotion of dialogue and the definition of an efficient national and regional energy policy. Dialogue on key pension and labor issues begins on Monday Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said yesterday that on Monday he will initiate an extensive process of dialogue on social security and labor issues with Labor Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos and the Economic and Social Committee (OKE), which comprises representatives of all major employer and union groups and local government organizations. Separately, the Greek Federation of Bank Employees’ Unions (OTOE) said its dialogue with banks on the social security problem is going nowhere as there are no new elements pointing to a solution, adding that the only way out is through a single fund for all bank employees. Tourism diplomacy «We want to create a stability and cooperation zone in our region because we all know that tourists do not go where there are crises and unstable situations,» Tourism Development Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said at the opening of Istanbul’s International Tourism Fair. He said of Greece’s new policy «of tourism diplomacy» with neighboring nations, «We do not see them as rivals, which would characterize a superficial tourism policy.» Avramopoulos also had meetings with Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Attila Koç and other foreign counterparts of his. High-speed exhibition The 6th Car & Motor-Boat Show opened yesterday at the Helexpo exhibition center in Thessaloniki, exhibiting the latest in cars, motorcycles, boats and their accessories until Sunday. This year there are 167 exhibitors from all over Greece taking part. The official opening is tonight, by Deputy Minister for Development Giorgos Salagoudis. IT seminars A series of seminars for IT professionals is starting next month, titled «Administration and Entrepreneurship of Greek Software Companies.» It is an initiative by the Hellenic Information Technology and Communication Enterprises Association (SEPE) and the Electronic Entrepreneurship Workshop of the Athens University of Economics and Business, supported by Microsoft Hellas. The first seminar is on May 20-21. For more information call 210.820.3654 or e-mail [email protected]