ECONOMY

In Brief

No restraints on Greek fighter jet buys, says source Greece will rethink plans to buy 30 fighter jets and decide on the number according to its present defense needs, a senior Defense Ministry official said yesterday. Greece, which has the EU’s top defense spending as a percentage of GDP, said last year it was postponing the purchase, which had attracted companies such as the Eurofighter consortium and Lockheed Martin Corp. «All options are open, and there are no restrictions to how many will be purchased,» the senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. «The size and time of the purchase will be determined by the threat we feel,» the official said. «We will buy as many as necessary.» Experts say that could now mean as many as 60. (Reuters) EasyJet acquires GB Airways, which serves airports in Greece UK-based budget airline easyJet announced yesterday the acquisition of GB Airways Ltd, a franchise partner of British Airways Plc, for 103.5 million pounds (147.8 million euros), excluding GB’s slots at Heathrow Airport. Owned by Greek-Cypriot tycoon Stelios Haji-Ioannou, easyJet will cooperate with British Airways for a smooth transition, with full integration of Gatwick-based GB into easyJet expected from March 30, when all GB services will be under easyJet colors. GB this season operates flights to four Greek destinations: Corfu, Myconos, Iraklion and Rhodes, while easyJet flies to Athens. Saudi Basic Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) will open an office in Greece as it seeks to to increase chemicals sales in Southeastern Europe, the world’s largest chemical company by market value announced yesterday. The Athens office will open in January and cover Greece, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania, SABIC said in a statement. (Reuters) EU decision on CO2 The European Commission will decide today whether to approve plans laying out rights to emit carbon dioxide (CO2) by industry in Bulgaria and Romania, the EU executive said yesterday. The decisions will cover the 2005-2007 trading period of the European Union’s emissions trading scheme as well as the second phase, which runs from 2008-2012. (Reuters) Turk power pricing Turkey aims to implement a new electricity pricing system in the first half of next year, Turkish Economy Minister Mehmet Simsek said yesterday. Ankara plans to implement a system whereby electricity prices rise or fall according to an established benchmark indicator, as it prepares for a series of privatizations in the energy sector. (Reuters)