Exports grow by almost 10 pct in first eight months of the year Greek exports posted a 9.9 percent yearly increase in the January-to-August period. Data from the Foreign Trade Board (OPE) show the total amount of exports reaching 8,677.9 million euros, from 7,896.8 million euros in the first eight months of 2004. Of the 781-million-euro increase, 256 million euros came from oil products, 242 million euros from chemical and pharmaceutical products and 141 million euros from foodstuffs. Germany remains the top market for Greek products, but second-placed Italy jumped by 15 percent annually. OPE CEO Panayiotis Drosos commented that «the rise in the companies’ outward-looking attitude is now a reality.» Demand for senior staff falls, except in production and customer services Demand for executive staff dropped in Greece by 9 percent year on year in the third quarter of 2005, with 644 vacancy ads published from July to September against 706 in the same period last year, according to the Kantor Humanis consultancy company. The decline is more dramatic from Q2 of 2005, when 1,096 ads had been published, a drop of 41 percent. The sectors of services, trade and industry account for the biggest portion of the labor market, but demand has diminished there, too. The strongest demand is for staff in sales, financial services and production, reaching 57 percent of the total. The production and customer services sector was the only one to post a rise since last year. Of all 644 ads in Q3, 67 percent were published in print media, with the rest appearing on the Internet. Hotel awards The Divani Caravel and Divani Apollon Palace & Spa hotels in Athens will receive the Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. Both hotels were surveyed on the products and services offered, and mainly on the «sense of hospitality» provided by each hotel’s management and staff, which is the Academy’s main requirement. Astellas Pharmaceuticals Astellas, Japan’s second- and the world’s 15th-biggest pharmaceutical company, announced yesterday the operation of its subsidiary in Greece, named Astellas Pharmaceuticals. The parent company came about from the merger of Yamanouchi and Fujisawa last April and, in the EU alone, it has 18 subsidiaries, six production units and more than 3,000 employees. New OA flights Showing defiance in hardship, Olympic Airlines announced five new international and two new domestic flights per week on its winter schedule, as of this Sunday. Two of them are from Athens to London Gatwick airport (Wednesdays and Thursdays), and the rest to Belgrade, Tel Aviv and Alexandria. The new domestic flights will link Thessaloniki with Mytilene and Hania.