In Brief

Traders see specter of red tape returning The National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) has protested in a letter to Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis about the prospect of reinstating what it calls «sterile and unnecessary» red tape in the founding of new enterprises. «The country’s business world and prospective foreign investors fail to understand the attempt to reinstate, with ministerial decision 1102/July 4, the anachronistic system of bureaucratic procedures, particularly regarding Article 7 concerning on-the-spot inspections,» it said. ESEE argued the identification of bogus enterprises will not be achieved through the measure, as it failed to do so in the past, and proposed its suspension until an easier and effective method is found through dialogue. Alcatel sings deal to modernize Kosovo’s fixed phone network PRISTINA (AP) – French telecommunications company Alcatel SA signed a deal yesterday with Kosovo’s Telecom to modernize and expand the fixed-line network infrastructure in the province, an official said. Under the 17-million-euro deal, several dozen outdated systems will be updated with new technology, said Seremb Gjergji, the spokesman for Kosovo’s Post and Telecom. The project also aims to double the number of fixed-line phones, Gjergji said. Currently, there are 115,000 users of fixed telephony. «The state-of-the-art solution that will be provided is unique in the Balkans and among the most innovative in the world,» the Kosovo company said. Aluminium acquisition Russian aluminium giant Roussal yesterday acquired the Montenegro government’s 65 percent stake in KAP, the largest aluminium plant in the tiny republic, officials said. Roussal will pay 48.5 million euros for the shares and an additional 27 million euros for Montenegro government projects, the officials of both the Russian company and the government told reporters after the contract was signed here. Roussal will also invest 55 million euros in KAP’s modernization and another 20 million in environmental protection. It will not be allowed to fire workers over the next year. (AFP) Cyprus euro EU newcomer Cyprus has opened a competition for the design of euro coins as it prepares to adopt the single currency by 2008. Designers can draw inspiration from prehistoric art, Cyprus’s horned Moufflon goat and the island’s close links to seafaring from Phoenician times. «The designs should reflect the nature, culture and special character of the country,» the central bank said. The deadline for submission of entries is Oct. 14, 2005. Cyprus entered the European Exchange Rate mechanism (ERM2), a proving ground for euro adoption, in April and is expected to remain there for at least two years. (Reuters) Oracle Hellas Software developer Oracle Hellas said it has completed significant projects in large clients such as OTE Telecom, Alumil and CosmOTE, following other recent applications in regional health authorities, army departments and Albania’s Finance Ministry. «The continuing increase in the number of our clients is the result of considerable investment by the company, both internationally and locally,» said CEO Vassilis Dimopoulos.

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