In Brief

Tough pay pact negotiations to resume on Monday Employers and unions will continue on Monday with the sixth round of what is being described as the toughest negotiations over a national pay pact in the last 15 years. «Because we want at all costs to prevent someone ill-intentioned from saying that it is us causing a deadlock, we consented to interrupt discussions until Monday,» said General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) Christos Polyzogopoulos. Earlier, GSEE had rejected employers’ proposal for a 9.8 percent pay raise for 2006 and 2007 together, counter-proposing a 5.5 percent raise for this year alone. Sources expressed the view that all sides have an interest in arriving at a compromise and the most likely outcome will be nominal increases of around 10 percent for the two years. Cyprus pound to be pegged to the euro around mid-2007 NICOSIA – Cyprus will lock the exchange rate of its pound against the euro in mid-2007, six months before its anticipated adoption of the single currency on January 1, 2008, Finance Minister Michael Sarris said yesterday. «The locking-in of the pound against the euro will take place around June 2007,» Sarris told state radio. He also said there was a potential for disruption to the government’s fiscal consolidation program if authorities overshot their euro admission target of 2008 and moved to a later date, advocated by one party in the ruling government coalition. (Reuters) Tasty deal Snacks company Tasty Foods plans to procure all its potato requirements from the district of Amyntaion, in Macedonia, within a few years, according to an agreement signed with the local farmers cooperative yesterday. The deal provides for the delivery of 1,500 tons this year, 4,000 tons in 2007 and of over 15,000 tons in 2008. Tasty Foods, a member of the Pepsico group, is planning to acquire potatoes from the same district for its Romanian subsidiary. Emporiki results Emporiki Bank yesterday reported 2005 group net profits of 76 million euros, reversing year earlier losses, but coming in below consensus forecasts despite strong retail lending. Emporiki said that it will propose no dividend for 2005 in order to maintain its capital base. (Reuters) Greek gold European Goldfields said yesterday it expects its Skouries mine in Halkidiki, Macedonia, to produce 40,000 tons of copper and 200,000 ounces of gold per year when it goes into production in late 2008 or early 2009. Its other mine at Olympias, in the same district, some 200,000 ounces of contained gold had been stockpiled on the surface, which the firm is negotiating to sell to China. (Reuters) Greek per capita income Greece’s per capita income rose to 15,222 euros in 2005. It is highest in central Greece (21,113 euros) and lowest in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (11,392 euros).