ECONOMY

In Brief

Commissioner says FYROM exports must bear the acronym BRUSSELS – A dispute between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece over the right to the name Macedonia has flared again after the European Commission said the Balkan state must stamp its unwieldy internationally recognized name on exports. EU Taxation Commissioner Laszlo Kovacs, quizzed by a Greek opposition lawmaker in the European Parliament, said that to qualify for trade preferences Skopje had to use the title of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on goods. That is the name recognized by the European Union, NATO and the United Nations. Greek Socialist EU lawmaker Panos Beglitis had complained in a written question that Skopje was exporting goods under its constitutional name. (Reuters) Internet exposition site brings business with Japan closer The Hellenic-Japanese Chamber of Commerce is to promote Greek products in Japan through a «virtual business talks» program on the Internet. The program, sponsored by the Japanese Committee for the Promotion of International Business Opportunities, provides a virtual exposition place on a special site (www.g-boc.com/vbt/e/) where companies exhibit their products with all relevant details and can exchange information and hold discussions. It is so planned to provide the widest possible information to small businesses worldwide and help them expand their business in Japan. The relevant material may be obtained through e-mail from [email protected] LAFKA Pensioners who had been paying contributions to the now-abolished LAFKA social security fund will get their money back starting July 1, 2006 in up to five installments, according to a bill submitted yesterday. The contribution, abolished in June 2004, had been a 1-5 percent levy on pensions, imposed since 1993 as a temporary measure to bolster the ailing social security system’s finances. Pensioners who are entitled to returns of up to 200 euros will receive them in lump sums next July. Public sector pensioners will be paid back a total of 180.9 million euros, while those of the private sector will receive a total of 475 million. Citibank Citibank plans to expand its Greek network from 58 to 100 branches and hire 200 more staff in the near future, its local general manager Christos Vassiliadis said yesterday. Citibank gives a «buy» recommendation for stocks of eurozone- and US-based firms, advises caution in relation to emerging markets and a «neutral» position for bonds. In Greece it says there are opportunities in companies with good management and business plans and strong financial indicators. Fighter jets Sweden’s Gripen Jas-39 fighter aircraft is «a tested, reliable and very economical alternative solution,» in case the Greek government decides to proceed to an open international tender for new generation planes, Ambassador Marten Grunditz told a presentation yesterday. If purchased, most of the planes would be assembled in Greece.