ECONOMY

In Brief

Telecoms regulator backs Tellas complaint against OTE Greece’s National Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT) yesterday gave main fixed-line operator OTE telecom 15 working days in which to deliver thousands of telephone lines to alternative provider Tellas. EETT issued the provisional order after an injunction by Tellas, which claimed delays and refusals by OTE obstructed its capacity to provide the required services to new subscribers. In the framework of the liberalization of telecoms services, subscribers to alternative providers are no longer required to pay a fixed overhead charge to OTE. EETT said its intervention was deemed necessary in view of the «serious economic and operational problems caused to Tellas by OTE’s behavior.» Applications by Tellas customers «have been pending for a long period of time, which cannot be considered reasonable, giving rise to distrust among its clients and causing damage to its reputation and credibility among the consumer public.» Council of State rejects personal detention for debts to gov’t Thousands of overdue payers to the state are certain to be relieved by the Council of State’s ruling yesterday that personal detention for arrears to the public purse is unconstitutional. Greece’s highest administrative court said «respect for and the protection of human integrity represent a primary obligation of the state,» admitting that the Constitution endorses the deprivation of personal freedom but only on condition that it is reasonably necessary for defending the public interest. Turkcell looks abroad Leading Turkish mobile operator Turkcell could invest in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and central Asia, CEO Sureyya Ciliv said yesterday as he signed a $3 billion syndicated loan. Turkcell is bidding for Saudi Arabia’s third mobile phone license and has formed a consortium with Kingdom Holding Co, owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. But it is up against eight other bidders. Ciliv, who came from Microsoft to lead Turkcell in January, said the firm had six months to use its loan, which was put together by Akbank, Citibank, Garanti Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan and Standard Bank. «There is a period of six months to use the loan and we have several opportunities to do so,» Ciliv said at a loan-signing ceremony in Istanbul. «In places we think are healthy and successful, we could invest in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East,» he added. (Reuters) EFG to buy Tekfenbank Turkey’s BDDK banking watchdog approved the sale of Tekfenbank to Greece’s EFG Eurobank last week, an official at the regulator said yesterday. Tekfenbank announced in May last year the Greek lender had agreed to buy a 70 percent stake in a deal which valued the whole bank at $260 million. «Last week the board gave permission for the sale of Tekfenbank in a surprise meeting,» the official said. The long delay in approval had prompted some speculation that the deal might not go ahead. (Reuters)