ECONOMY

In Brief

Port workers strike against terminal concession plan The Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) yesterday gave the green light to the proposed concession of the management of the port’s container terminal to a private operator. Eight of the 13 members on the board of governors approved the issuing of an international tender for a 30-year concession. The three workers’ representatives on the board voted against, while the labor union staged a 24-hour strike. Mobilizations are planned to continue, starting with workers abstaining from overtime work this weekend. A decision for a new strike is likely today. Traders were expressing fears of significant losses as a result of the strike and pointed out that many foreign exporters are already redirecting their goods to other Mediterranean ports in order to avoid the disruption in Piraeus. The Merchant Marine Ministry estimates that as a result of the workers’ go-slow, productivity in the port of Piraeus has dropped about 50 percent. The Piraeus container terminal handles about 1.4 million containers annually. Turkcell says eying TIM Hellas operator ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s leading mobile-phone operator Turkcell said yesterday it was interested in purchasing one of Greece’s leading mobile phone operators, TIM Hellas, but said no bid had been placed. «As part of its efforts to selectively seek and evaluate new international investment opportunities, it is investigating, among others, the possibility of a purchase of TIM Hellas Telecommunications SA, the Greek GSM mobile operator,» Turkcell said in a statement carried on PRNewswire. Revered cabbage Authorities in a Bosnian town plan to build a giant monument to the cabbage to honor their most important produce. Cabbage is a favorite winter staple in the Balkans, cooked or pickled in a variety of ways to deliver precious vitamin C through the dark months. «Our region is famous for cabbage. We very much appreciate this vegetable,» said Goran Peric, the director of the tourist association in the northeastern town of Bijeljina. Peric said the monument to the humble plant would be erected in time for the next Cabbage Fest, traditionally held in November. «We shall all support this idea,» he told Reuters. Bijeljina cabbage used to sell across the former Yugoslav Federation but lost its market after Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia declared independence and war broke out. (Reuters) Bulgaria freight terminal Bulgaria plans to build a freight terminal in Sofia for around -44 million with EU funds and should open an international tender for its construction next year, officials said yesterday. The so-called intermodal terminal, the first of its kind in Bulgaria, will make it possible for trucks coming from abroad to transfer loads to rail or vice versa. «The government will choose a firm to create the terminal project on November 29 and around seven months later we should choose a firm to build it,» said Hristo Alexiev from the Transport Ministry. The terminal should become operational some time in 2009. (Reuters)