ECONOMY

In Brief

Minister calls for more aggressive economic diplomacy Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis said yesterday Greece needs «more aggressive» economic diplomacy and that in 2006 the government will launch drives to «unlock» the big markets of the USA, India as well as in the Mediterranean. Speaking at the National Exports Council, he suggested that Greece propose to Chinese manufacturers that their products be finished in Greece. «If 10-15 percent of the productive process is done here, the products would automatically be given European certification, jobs would be created and we would gain in added value,» he said. Greek exports were up more than 13 percent last year, the first rise in many years. OPAP mulls network expansion, more bet options Gaming firm OPAP, Europe’s largest, has not yet reached a decision on whether it will add new outlets to its current network of around 5,500 agents, the group’s chief executive said yesterday. «We haven’t reached a decision yet about our needs and how many new licenses we will issue,» CEO Vassilis Neiadas told Reuters. Earlier, the financial daily Imerisia reported that OPAP was expected to issue 500 new outlet licenses in coming days and that among them, 238 would be given to Greek Olympic champions. Neiadas said that by the end of March, OPAP’s Stoichima game would start offering bets on Greek soccer matches. But the decision has yet to be published in the Government Gazette. In November, OPAP said the Greek games would be launched by the end of February. (Reuters) Ticket discounts Minoan Lines passengers will enjoy a 30 percent discount on Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) tickets if they wish to continue their trip by train, while OSE customers will get a 20 percent discount on all domestic and international Minoan Lines tickets, except for the staterooms. Passengers need only show their tickets to get the discount. OSE also announced that from March 1 tickets booked by phone must be paid for and collected at least 48 hours before departure. Teletypos shares Listed publishers Lambrakis Press and Pegasus upped their stakes in TV company Teletypos yesterday. The former bought 390,000 shares, taking its stake to 20.86 percent, while Pegasus bought 290,000 shares, now owning 23.39 percent of the company that owns Mega Channel. Global Finance Global Finance’s Emerging Property Fund has acquired a 6-hectare plot in Pipera, one of the fastest-growing areas in the Romanian capital Bucharest, and plans to invest 140 million euros in an office complex. Crete Plastics Crete Plastics expects another positive year, marked by more investment at its Iraklion plant and possibly expansion into wind-power energy. Ongoing due diligence in a Russian production unit will also determine whether the Athens-listed firm will acquire it.