ECONOMY

In Brief

OTE fined for breaching competition rules in ADSL sales Telecoms regulator EETT yesterday levied a 300,000-euro fine on fixed-line provider OTE Telecom for breaching competition rules in selling its broadband services. Subscribers using OTE’s high-speed broadband Internet services are required to buy the modems from the operator, a policy which violates telecommunication laws and competition rules, EETT said in a statement. It said the operator also charged users for its Netmode ISDN line terminal device via monthly fees while saying the equipment was provided free. OTE has moved aggressively to promote its broadband services in a bid to offset weakness in its core fixed-line telephony unit. It aims to triple the number of ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) users to more than 120,000 this year from about 44,000 at end-2004. (Reuters) Albania upholds Hyatt as winner of Tirana casino license TIRANA (Reuters) – Albania yesterday rejected a complaint by Greece’s Club Hotel Loutraki, the loser in the battle for a casino license in the capital Tirana, saying the process was legal and transparent. Greece’s Hyatt Regency won the $10 million, 15-year casino license in Tirana, largely thanks to what was valued as its better development plan. «The procedures of the international competition… were completely legal,» the Finance Ministry said in a statement in response to Loutraki’s complaints of a «clear series of irregularities that included negligence, misrepresentation of facts and discriminating treatment.» Hyatt has said the investment outlay is estimated at 20 million euros. The casino will be built and operated by a consortium of Hyatt and a group of Albanian investors. Tuition fee clash Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou and private school representatives found no common ground in their talks yesterday regarding tuition fees, with the ministry insisting on no increase beyond 3.21 percent from last year and schools pressing for no less than 5 percent to cover higher operating expenses. Papathanassiou said: «Their demand is irrational, with costs based for the second year running on the big raises teachers got in 2004 and not those of 2005. The laws cannot be interpreted according to each one’s interests.» Germanos Phone and accessories retailer Germanos expects foreign subsidiaries to contribute 25 to 30 percent of group sales this year, up from 20 percent in 2004, Costas Karafotakis, head of investor relations, told Reuters. «Pretax profit from activities abroad will more than double and exceed 7 million euros.» He reiterated that the company expected group sales of around 1 billion euros this year and earnings per share (EPS) of 1.50 to 1.54 euros. This translates to sales growth of 15 percent, with EPS rising by 13 to 15 percent year-on-year. Germanos posted group sales of 859.8 million euros last year. It operates in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine and Cyprus. (Reuters) Air fare rise Olympic Airlines announced another rise in international fares in the form of a fuel surcharge starting on Monday. The increase will be 3 euros per European flight and 4 euros per intercontinental flight. Domestic flights are exempted.