ECONOMY

In Brief

Unemployment drops to 7.8 percent year-on-year Greece’s unemployment rate improved to 7.8 percent in July from 8.1 percent in the same month last year, but remained above the eurozone average, the National Statistics Service (NSS) said yesterday. Despite strong economic growth at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter, Greece’s jobless rate is higher than the 13-member eurozone’s average, 6.9 percent in the same month. The NSS said there were 384,564 officially unemployed in July, while an estimated 4.558 million people had jobs. Greece’s unemployment rate has been steadily declining since 2004 when it was 10.1 percent, the NSS said. The improvement was flagged by the recently re-elected conservative government as proof its economic policies are bearing fruit. (Reuters) PPC and Metka sign Aliveri power plant contract Electricity utility Public Power Corporation (PPC) signed a deal with construction company Metka to build a power plant as part of plans to modernize its operations, PPC said yesterday. Metka, which was named preferred bidder for the project earlier this year, will build a 427-megawatt natural gas-powered plant on the Greek island of Evia for 219.2 million euros. «Our investment plan foresees… new generation units that will be more effective and friendlier to the environment,» PPC CEO Takis Athanassopoulos said in a statement. The project, in the town of Aliveri, is due to be completed within 27 months and will be the largest natural-gas-powered plant in Greece, while the generator will be built with technology provided by France’s Alstom. (Reuters) Cyprus tourism Tourist arrivals to Cyprus rose 1.1 percent in January to September, the statistics department said yesterday. Separate figures from the department showed building permits climbed in the January-July period by 6.6 percent in area and 18.1 percent in value terms year-on-year. Arrivals from Cyprus’s major tourist markets over the first nine months showed a 5.8 percent and 8 percent drop from Britain and Germany and a 29.5 and 13.9 percent increase for Russia and Greece respectively. (Reuters) Diana Shipping Diana Shipping, a dry-bulk carrier operator, said it had agreed with unaffiliated third parties to buy two Capesize dry-bulk carriers for $275 million. The vessels are expected to generate about $225 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the charters, the Greece-based company said in a statement. (Reuters) Enel Bulgaria bid Italian power company Enel will submit a bid for a 49 percent stake in a planned 2,000-megawatt nuclear power plant in Bulgaria, a source close to the issue said yesterday. Enel has frequently said it was interested in the plant and «is submitting an offer,» said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. (Reuters)