OTE CEO expects 5,500 to take early retirement

Telecoms provider OTE expects about 5,500 of its workers will opt for early retirement as part of a voluntary redundancy plan, its chief executive said yesterday. «About 5,500 workers will take part in the early retirement plan,» CEO Panayis Vourloumis told reporters. Vourloumis yesterday met with Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis to discuss the redundancy plan as well as the share convertible certificates which expire on August 2. The cost of paying investors, none of whom are expected to exercise their options to buy shares, is about 1.1 billion euros. OTE, 37.7 percent state-owned, aims to shed about a third of its 16,215-strong work force over a 12-month period to cut costs and shore up profits. The operator has set an October 14 deadline for workers to apply for early retirement. OTE has estimated the cost of up to 6,000 voluntary redundancies at 1.5 billion euros ($1.82 billion), with the government financing a fifth of the cost. Annual savings from the plan are estimated at 250 million euros. (Reuters/Kathimerini)

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