High court paves way for Olympics-related projects The Council of State, Greece’s highest administrative court, yesterday rejected a petition of residents of the suburb of Aghia Paraskevi who demanded a stop to several road projects in their area designed to relieve traffic congestion for the 2004 Athens Olympics and which, they claimed, would harm the environment. The projects include an overpass, part of a road to the new Athens airport running through Mt Hymettus, and works on one of the main road arteries in the area. In two separate cases, state councillors have proposed to reject a petition by residents and local authorities against a planned overpass at Kifissiou and Poseidonos avenues and against works along Kifissias Avenue. The councilors claim such works do not harm the environment and are needed for the Games. Listed companies’ raised capital since 1998 at 2.66 tln drachmas Listed companies raised a total of 2.66 trillion drachmas on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) through share capital increases (SCI) between January 1, 1998 and September 30, 2001, of which 77.11 percent has been invested, according to figures released by ASE yesterday. Of the 151 companies announcing relevant data on a total of 154 SCIs, 96 concerned listed companies and 58 companies in the process of listing. One SCI took place in 1998, 45 in 1999, 91 in 2000 and 17 in 2001. Outstanding tax dues sought The government has begun collecting about 5.5 billion euros in outstanding taxes owed and which are considered recoverable out of a total of 9 billion, Deputy Finance Minister Apostolos Fotiadis said yesterday. This sum does not include dues from public organizations, which amounts to 3.7 billion euros. The regional tax offices (DOY) with the largest outstanding amounts are Athens A, Kallithea A, Moschato and Aghia Paraskevi. Fotiadis also told Parliament that the government may further reduce the interest rate on outstanding dues from the current 12 percent annually. CosmOTE customers Mobile operator CosmOTE announced yesterday it had 2.943 million subscribers at the end of 2001, a 42.8-percent increase year-on-year and at the top end of market expectations. CosmOTE, an OTE Telecom subsidiary, said it added 203,185 new subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2001. Of these, 12.8 percent were contract customers, while the rest were prepaid. The overall split between contract and prepaid customers at the end of 2001 was 49.7 percent and 50.3 percent, respectively. (Reuters) Minister on PPC «The government backs the Public Power Corporation with a view to enable it to meet the country’s energy needs and participate on equal terms in European energy networks, which will be a reality in southeastern Europe in the coming two to three years,» Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos said during a visit to the corporation’s installations in Kozani, northern Greece yesterday. He added that irrespective of plans to reduce personnel, the corporation requires a continuous renewal of specialized staff. In the context of the five-year plan, a basic target is to increase production from 11,000 megawatts (MW) to 13,000 MW.