In Brief

Greek-Albanian cooperation agreement on electricity The Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) and Albania’s Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERE) yesterday signed a memorandum of cooperation on regulatory issues. The agreement will help the two countries further expand the cross-border trade of electrical energy and better coordinate their activity in the context of the Energy Community of Southeastern Europe, for the creation of a regional power and natural gas market that aims to be incorporated into the single energy market of the European Union. Deputy Development Minister Anastassios Nerantzis welcomed the signing of the memorandum saying «it will contribute to the common efforts of the two countries toward securing their energy supplies, as well in the broader region of Southeast Europe.» Turkish economic growth seen at 5.75 pct in Q1 ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish economic growth for the first quarter of 2007 is expected to slow down from a year ago due to higher interest rates that dent domestic demand, but still meet the year-end target due to robust exports, a Reuters poll showed. Turkey’s official economic growth target for 2007 is 5 percent. The country has registered 7.4 percent average growth in each of the last four years. A poll of 13 financial sector analysts showed that the median growth estimate for the first quarter of 2007 was 5.75 percent for gross domestic product and 5.10 percent for gross national product. ‘Golden shares’ warning The European Commission started legal action against Romania yesterday as part of a campaign to stop countries abusing «golden shares» in former state-owned companies, the EU executive said. «We have sent a letter of formal notice, which is the first step in any legal proceedings,» a Commission spokeswoman said. The case is related to the country’s biggest oil and gas firm, Petrom, majority owned by Austria’s OMV. (Reuters) Investment subsidy The government has approved subsidies for 13,352 investment plans in the framework of the investment incentives law and programs for supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The investments total 8.5 billion euros and will create 27,500 new jobs, said Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis yesterday. «We have implemented a new development pattern based on entrepreneurship, competitiveness and an outward-looking approach through a series of reforms to boost SMEs,» he added. WB loan to Sofia The World Bank has approved a 90-million-euro loan for the rehabilitation of Bulgaria’s dilapidated roads, the country’s government said yesterday. Under the project, some 450 kilometers of roads will be improved, the regional development ministry said in a statement. Part of the funds will be invested in equipment and technologies, and for improving road safety and reducing the number of traffic accidents. Bulgaria’s co-financing from its national budget will be up to 54 million euros. The project has a maturity of 17 years, including a five-year grace period. (AP) MEVGAL awards Northern Greece-based dairy company MEVGAL came away with two «highest quality» prizes for its feta and goat cheese in the competition of the International Taste and Quality Institute (ITQI) last March, the company announced yesterday.

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