In Brief

EU to help boost Greece’s flagging broadband usage The European Union has agreed to partly fund IT laggard Greece’s plans to boost broadband services and increase penetration by more than fourfold, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. «The European Regional Growth Fund has specified 73.5 million euros, equal to 70 percent of total state spending, as its contribution,» it said in a statement. Greece has the lowest broadband penetration in Europe – 1.5 percent last year versus the region’s average of 29 percent. The ministry said EU and state funding will add to 210 million euros from the private sector as part of a scheme to develop broadband infrastructure countrywide. «These measures are aimed at increasing the broadband penetration rate to at least 7 percent in 2008,» it added. (Reuters) Cost of Baku-Ceyhan pipeline 30 percent higher BAKU (Reuters) – The cost of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline has risen to $3.9 billion, 30 percent above the original estimate of $2.95 billion, the head of BP Plc in Azerbaijan said yesterday. David Woodward told reporters that the expense of contractors and building materials had forced up the cost of the pipeline, which BP is leading. «This price does not take into account the cost of filling the pipeline with oil and cost of borrowing to realize the project,» he said. The cost of filling the 1,768-kilometer (1,099-mile) pipeline with 10 million barrels of oil has also grown, because of rising world prices, and is expected to be around $600 million. Woodward said the first tanker of Azeri oil could leave Ceyhan, on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, at the end of spring, although the official launch of the pipeline is due by the end of the second quarter of the year. Intralot Gaming systems company Intralot signed a 35-million-euro ($42.9 million) deal to provide Taiwan’s state lottery with information technology systems, spearheading its expansion into Asia. «Intralot, through a joint venture, has been selected as the preferred bidder of ChinaTrust Commercial Bank in Taiwan (CTCB), which has received the licence from the government to operate the Public Welfare Lottery of Taiwan,» Intralot said in a statement late on Tuesday. Intralot will provide a lottery IT system and maintenance services for seven years. The local gaming market is estimated at about 3 billion euros. (Reuters) F1 plans gear up The Tourism Development Ministry has finalized the conditions required for candidate locations for the creation of a Formula 1 racetrack in Greece. The main candidates are Orchomenos (some 70 kilometers north of Athens), Patras and Crete. Car insurance Ethniki Insurance Company said it is cutting car insurance premiums by up to 35 percent in six regions, excluding Attica, as of May 1. Additional coverage includes damage to the vehicle while in the hands of robbers, while a 5 percent discount is offered for the third up to the sixth vehicle of one family.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.