Greeks’ purchasing power is far lower than the EU average The average salary of Greeks employed in industry and services reached 14,518 euros in 2002, far below the European Union average of 23,638 euros, according to a Eurostat survey conducted every four years. Greece stands below Cyprus (18,841 euros) and Spain (16,457 euros), but above Portugal (9,735 euros) and Slovenia (9,040 euros). Measured in Purchasing Power Parities (PPP), the gross income of Greeks in industry and services came to 17,393 PPPs, against an EU average of 23,190 PPPs. The EU statistical service’s data shows there are no major differences across Greek regions in gross salaries both in euros and in PPPs. Daskalopoulos takes over as head of Greek industrialists The Federation of Greek Industries (SEV) voted yesterday for the head of the listed food group Delta Holdings, Dimitris Daskalopoulos, to replace outgoing Odysseas Kyriakopoulos at the presidency of the influential group. «SEV must develop into the essentially institutional representative of private initiative and the forces that produce wealth and jobs,» said Daskalopoulos. «The voice of SEV and its members can acquire some weight and social acceptance only if it has provided a tangible example of healthy business activity, shown genuine social sensitivity and undertaken initiatives filling the gap from the state’s activity,» he stated, adding that SEV’s challenge is to contribute in a climate of consent. Dubai in Marfin Dubai Financial, a subsidiary of the Dubai Investment Group (DIG), yesterday obtained a 31.5-percent stake at Marfin Financial Group through the Athens stock market, at 25 euros per share. The CEO of DIG, Soud Ba’alawy, will take over as president of Marfin. He said that «there are very big plans to expand the European and international presence of Marfin; this expansion will have Greece as its epicenter, since it has a favorable infrastructure for investments.» ANEK sails first Coastal shipping company ANEK is proceeding to submission of routes and schedules from Piraeus to Crete for the new season (October 2006-October 2007), breaking the coastal shipowners’ front that demands the full liberalization in all routes. ANEK vice-president Manolis Galanakis told Kathimerini that since the Merchant Marine Ministry has begun promoting liberalization, companies should also start submitting their route plans. «Liberalization does not mean a rise in fares,» he added. Cypriot airport revamp The Hermes Airport consortium, led by French construction group Bouygues, is starting work next month to rebuild and expand the Larnaca and Paphos airports in Cyprus in a 622-million-euro deal, Communications Minister Haris Thrassou said yesterday. «The agreement foresees construction of new, modern airports and their administration for a period of 25 years,» he stated. The project will be financed exclusively by Hermes. (AFP) Greek ICS chief Spyros Polemis is the new chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the new president of the International Shipping Federation (ISF).