Draft law to facilitate hotel construction in touristic areas A new bill on tourism will include a clause reducing from 20,000 sq.m to 10,000 sq.m. the required threshold for constructing a hotel in areas of controlled touristic development, but without changing the total permissible area to be built. This modification will not apply to the joining of two plots, so as to prevent the increase of permissible area in the case of an expansion of a hotel’s installations. The bill will also reduce from 25 years to 20 the age of hotels that can change use, provided that the new use is allowed in the given area and the hotel is within town plans. Poultry farmers better prepared for avian flu now Deaths from the bird flu epidemic in Turkey have caused an approximately 40 percent fall in poultry consumption in Greece – lower than the false alarm on the island of Oinouses a few months ago, representatives of poultry farmers said yesterday. «But we’ll see how it goes from now on,» said Hellenic Poultry Farming Companies Association (SPEE) President Dimitris Livaditis. He noted images shown from Turkey were of free-range chickens and not from the very few organized poultry-breeding units. In contrast, such units account for 95 percent of Greece’s production. Regional energy deficit The new president of the Business Council for Southeastern Europe, Italian Aldo Fumagalli, warned yesterday of a possible period of energy shortages in the next two years in the region, due to a restructuring of the Bulgarian energy industry to conform to European environmental-protection standards. Bulgaria was Europe’s fourth-largest electric energy exporter in 2005, with 7.7 million kwh. Vodafone Greece’s second-largest cellular phone operator said yesterday it had agreed with the Development Ministry to advertise its product and service rates inclusive of value-added tax as of Monday, January 16, in order to avoid misunderstandings by subscribers and to assist in the market’s transparency. Sites at. eu Owners of trademarks and public bodies can register for Internet site addresses ending in. eu by February 7, while in the following two months owners of previous rights, such as company names, trademarks or art names can also register, Internet Hellas announced yesterday. The. eu Domain Register said as many as 100,000 applications were filed on the first day of its operation. Navy battery Sunlight, of the Germanos group, has won a second contract for delivering a submarine battery to the Peruvian Navy. The Xanthi-based battery producer won the contract following success also in tenders in Portugal and South Africa – whose navy will soon receive its third and final submarine battery order.