ECONOMY

In Brief

Severe shortage forecast for technology network specialists Greece will be short of 5,400 staff specialized in advanced technology networks in 2008, according to the US telecom equipment firm Cisco Systems. In the next two years a deficit of up to half a million staff with such skills, essential for the operation of companies, will arise in Europe. In a third of the countries surveyed, demand for staff will outstrip supply by 20 percent, with non-EU members in Eastern Europe to be hit hardest. Germanos signs deal with Cosmote Romania Phone accessory retailer Germanos said yesterday it had signed a cooperation agreement with mobile phone operator Cosmote in Romania. Under the deal, Germanos will provide its products and services to Cosmote Romania, Cosmote’s subsidiary in Romania. Cosmote officially launched Cosmote Romania on Tuesday, seeking to duplicate its success in yet another Balkan country, its fourth to date. Germanos said revenues from the deal will be about the same as those from other countries. Germanos has similar agreements in Greece, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Romania. Analysts said Germanos’s revenues from airtime mobile phone usage in Greece make up about 13 percent of the average monthly bill of a contract subscriber. The retailer has a network of 900 branches at home and abroad and aims to increase this to 1,500 in the next two years. (Reuters) Greek-Mexican deal Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis and Mexico’s ambassador in Athens, Alejandro Diaz Perez Duarte, concluded the validation of the double-taxation avoidance agreement between Greece and Mexico yesterday. «This deal has great importance both for Greek shipping and for Greek exports, as it will provide a fresh boost to the development of our bilateral financial relations,» said Stylianidis. «I believe in the near future we will have the opportunity for mutual visits at the highest level and for developing our market relations,» he added. Dia expansion Dia Hellas, the Greek subsidiary of the Spanish low-cost supermarket chain, will invest 7.6 million euros to open new stores and another 6.5 million euros per year to renovate 220 stores in the next couple of years. Total investment in 2006 will reach 14.8 million euros from 8.8 million euros in 2005, Dia Hellas President and Director Ioannis Avdelas said yesterday. The company has an expected turnover of 358 million euros in 2005, up by 18 percent from 2004, and aims to have 459 stores across Greece in 2008. Bogus invoices The Finance Ministry has found forged and bogus invoices to a total net value of 3.5 million euros by two oil trading companies. In the 2004-2005 period the two companies exchanged 170 bogus tax data relating to a total of 5,323,362 liters of oil. Their total fine will run over 7 million euros.