ECONOMY

In Brief

Ryanair says it is suing EU Commission over Olympic DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ryanair said yesterday it was suing the European Commission for failing to act on the Irish budget airline’s complaint that the Greek government provided illegal state aid to Olympic Airlines. «The Greek government’s most recent tranche of state aid to Olympic involves approximately 500 million euros, mostly for ‘unpaid services’ allegedly provided by Olympic to the government,» Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said. Ryanair had been calling on the Commission to investigate «this obvious abuse» of EU competition laws since 2006 and was now left with no alternative but to challenge the Commission’s inaction in the European courts, he added in a statement. Ryanair also lodged a complaint last month with European Union Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes accusing rivals Lufthansa and Air France of price fixing of fuel surcharges, an accusation both companies deny. Greek media firms to expand in Romania Attica Publications, the publisher of Playboy magazine in Greece and three Eastern European countries, is teaming up with Imako Media to publish two new celebrity magazines in Romania. Attica and Imako will set up a joint company to publish Romanian editions of OK!, the biggest UK celebrity gossip magazine by circulation, and InStyle, a celebrity lifestyle magazine, according to a filing with the Athens bourse yesterday. The Greek companies will each have a 50 percent stake in Attica Imako Media Srl, the filing showed. Arnoldo Mondadori Editore SpA, the publisher owned by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, has a 42 percent stake in Attica. Italy-based Mondadori, the country’s largest book and magazine publisher, acquired the stake to expand in markets such as Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Greece. Imako already publishes InStyle for Greece and Turkey. (Bloomberg) Petkim Turkey’s privatization board said yesterday that it approved the sale of a 51 percent stake in the state-run petrochemicals company Petkim to the second-highest bidder. The decision paves the way for the handover of the company to a consortium of the Azeri oil company Socar, Turkey’s Turcas and Saudi-based Injaz Projects. The consortium had made the second-best offer of $2.04 billion, after a $2.05 billion bid from a consortium of the Kazakh Caspi Neft and Eurasia companies, the Russian bank Troika Dialogue and a number of Kazakh investors. The tender commission, however, asked authorities to approve the second-highest bid for the company, without giving a reason. Turkish newspapers reported after the tender that 65 percent of Troika Dialogue’s shares belonged to a major Russian-Armenian investor described as a chief financer of the Armenian diaspora in the West. (AFP) Bulgarian jobless rate Bulgaria’s jobless rate edged down to a new 16-year low of 6.73 percent in October mainly due to economic growth and growth in seasonal employment, the Labor Ministry said.The unemployment rate was 6.78 percent in September and 8.38 percent in October 2006. (Reuters)