In Brief

More incentives for alternative energy projects The Development Ministry yesterday announced additional incentives and increased funds for private investments associated with renewable energy sources (RES). A total budget of 363 million euros will be added, from which 136 million will come from state coffers, while participation by private parties is halved to 15 percent from 30 percent. Interested parties are invited to submit their energy investment proposals by October 31, 2005. Subsidies will apply to projects ranging from 44,000 to 44 million euros, receiving between 30 and 50 percent depending on the area, technological category and type of investment. «The government is proving once again its devotion to promoting new energy investments for the further penetration of natural gas and RES in our energy balance and to policies for saving energy,» minister Dimitris Sioufas said. Veropoulos wins Skopje auction, plans shopping center construction Supermarket group Veropoulos will erect a 20,000-square-meter shopping mall in central Skopje, after winning the repeat auction for a prized land plot in the capital of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) this week. Veropoulos offered 510 euros per sq.m. The shopping center, worth a total of 25 million euros will include a 5,000-sq.m. VERO hyper-market, which will employ at least 210 people. The plot, whose auction was televised live, covers 10,772 sq.m. and could expand to 13,000 sq.m. Veropoulos operates seven supermarkets in FYROM, with an eighth to be added at the town of Chair in March 2006. EETT summons OTE The National Telecoms and Posts Commission (EETT) yesterday invited main fixed-line telecom operator OTE to a hearing about its recent 50-cent rise in standard charges for PSTN and ISDN BRA Internet connections without the Commission’s approval, and to submit its tariff data for monitoring. EETT further decided to impose fines on the three biggest mobile networks, CosmOTE, Vodafone and TIM, for breaking telecom regulations regarding number portability. Inflation Greece’s consumer inflation is expected to top 3.5 percent year-on-year in August as surging fuel costs weighed, the head of the country’s statistics service (NSS) said yesterday. «Inflation for August is expected to be above 3.5 percent. The main reason is higher fuel prices,» NSS Secretary-General Manolis Kontopyrakis told Reuters. Early this month he had forecast that the consumer price index would ease to 3.5 percent in August from a six-month high of 3.9 percent in July. (Reuters) Turkish banking Istanbul – Turkish conglomerate Dogus Holding said yesterday it has decided to start exclusive talks with GE Consumer Finance on selling half of its stake in Garanti Bankasi. Dogus has a 55.1-percent stake in Garanti. European newspapers said last month that French bank Societe Generale and Dutch Bank ABN AMRO NV were among international banks considering making a bid for a controlling stake in Garanti. (Reuters)