In Brief

Bill on power industry deregulation aired for public consultation The Development Ministry yesterday published for public consultation a draft bill prepared by the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) on the full harmonization of national legislation to EU Directive 54/2003, concerning the deregulation of the electric power industry. The document, posted on the ministry’s website (, will be available for consultation until July 22, and will then be submitted to Parliament. The bill completes the institutional framework for the industry, which has been pending for six years. Its provisions include the licensing of production plants on islands not connected with the national grid and of direct supply lines by private producers. Separately, the Council of State yesterday temporarily annulled ministerial decisions approving the environmental terms for the extension of the Public Power Corporation’s lignite mine in Megalopolis, in the Peloponnese, which it believes will have adverse effects. Government to shed 10 percent of ATE Bank in the autumn Greece will sell 10 percent of ATE Bank (formerly Agricultural) to local and foreign institutional investors by the end of autumn as part of its state divestments agenda, the bank’s vice governor said yesterday. «The sale of a 10 percent stake will be completed by the autumn, increasing the share’s free float. We will be done by the end of autumn,» ATE Bank’s vice governor Panayiotis Varagis told Reuters. «The goal for the main shareholder, the state, is to raise about 250-300 million euros via a private placement,» he said. ATE Bank, in which the government holds 84.5 percent, has a current market value of 2.82 billion euros. (Reuters) Organic certification Deputy Agriculture Minister Alexandros Kontos said yesterday the ministry will unveil a draft regulation for tightening up the certification and inspection of organic products at the end of the month, after the interested agencies and organizations have submitted their observations. The regulation will make it possible to set up new certification agencies, codify certification procedures and establish the mandatory use of a national certification label for organic produce. It will introduce standard rules for inspections of both domestically produced and imported organic products. Finally, it will set national rules for the production, labeling and inspection of products for which there are no EU provisions, beginning with meat-based products. New business loan The National Bank of Greece yesterday unveiled its «Business Multi-loan – Growth X6,» specially designed for self-employed professionals and small enterprises. The loan is for 25 years, has an 18-month grace period, a Euribor variable rate from 4 percent and the option for a fixed rate for three, five or seven years. For more information, call 801.11.400800. CosmOTE bond Greek mobile phone company CosmOTE sold a 289-million-euro bond, the second of three to raise funds for recent investments, to parent OTE, it said yesterday. (Reuters)

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