In Brief

Turkey, Greece make progress in energy links ISTANBUL – Preparations for the construction of a natural gas pipeline connecting Turkey and Greece are proceeding at a fast pace, Turkish Energy Minister Zeki Cakan said yesterday. Greece’s Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and Turkey’s BOTAS are preparing feasibility studies for a link between the two countries, within the framework of the plan for a network of pipelines connecting the Caspian Sea with Europe, Cakan said in a written statement. He estimated actual work would begin in about six months, after an agreement was signed. Referring to electric power, he said studies for Turkish participation in the Union for Coordinating the Transportation of Energy through Greece and other Balkan countries had had positive results and that work for installing a 400 kW line connecting the two countries was in progress. Chinese businessmen due in Thessaloniki next week A delegation of Chinese businessmen representing 11 firms from the Guangxi province is expected in Thessaloniki on March 22 as guests of the city’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EVETH). The products the Chinese entrepreneurs are interested in promoting in the Greek market include air conditioners, machine tools, fruit and vegetables, canned foods, leather gloves and resin. They also wish to import polyethylene and spare parts for leather-cutting machines, and explore possible partnerships in the production of leather goods. A reception is to be held at the City Hotel, 11 Komninon at 12.30. Those wishing to attend may notify EVETH at tel 0310.224.438 by March 20. Tourism Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos is in Berlin to visit the international tourism expo ITB – opening today – and have a series of contacts with foreign government officials, including the USA and China, and with representatives of German tour operators. The pavilion of the Greek National Tourism Organization at ITB hosts 59 separate exhibitors, including Athens 2004, the organizers of the Olympic Games. The expo will run until Tuesday. Meanwhile, Tsochadzopoulos’s deputy, Dimitris Georgakopoulos, attended on Thursday the opening of the Paris tourism show which features a number of pavilions for Greek regions, including Halkidiki, Crete and Volos-Sporades, as well as French tour operators active in Greece. Georgakopoulos met French counterpart Jacques Brunhes and attended a talk on «Tourism and Globalization.» Intralot share buyback Gamings system operator Intralot yesterday got shareholder approval to proceed with a share buyback of up to 5 percent of its share capital. Intralot said in a statement its share buyback will last for 12 months and will take place at a price range of 10 to 30 euros per share. (Reuters) Leader Development companies may submit proposals for Local Integrated Programs under the EU’s LEADER Initiative by June 17, according to a decision signed by Agriculture Minister Giorgos Drys yesterday.

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