ECONOMY

In Brief

Consumers unhappy about food prices and services in Greece Greek consumers are particularly unhappy with food prices, which they consider too high, as well as with the quality of services, according to European Union Commissioner for Consumer Protection Meglena Kuneva. The commissioner, who met yesterday in Athens with Development Minister Christos Folias, said that «Greeks appear satisfied with cellular telephony rates but not with the service provided.» Kuneva was also informed about the measures the Greek ministry is preparing to take to manage price rises and stated that one of them will be the setup of an index that will compare prices at the various stages of each product. She added that the EU is also taking measures, such as the creation of a Market Observatory for the best possible protection of consumers, saying that «competition is not enough by itself, we also need transparency in the market.» Turkish 2007 FDI at around $22 bln, says finance minister ANKARA (Reuters) – Foreign direct investment inflows into Turkey reached around $22 billion in 2007, Turkey’s Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan said in a speech yesterday. Turkey had set a $25 billion target for FDI last year, but it had long been clear that it would not reach that target. Government officials had said previously they expected 2007’s figure to come in around $19-$20 billion. The government hopes to lure at least $20 billion in foreign direct investment in 2008 to help stimulate growth and create new jobs. «In the past, foreign direct investment to our country was $1 billion (a year). This rose to $10 billion in 2005, and $20 billion in 2006 and $22 billion in 2007,» Unakitan told a meeting with visiting United Arab Emirates Economy Minister Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Alqassimi. Diana Shipping profit Greek dry-bulk carrier Diana Shipping Inc posted higher quarter results, helped by higher freight rates, but missed market expectations, sending its shares down more than 5 percent. The company said the quarterly average daily time charter equivalent rate, a measure of vessel hire rates, increased about 44 percent to $36,459 per day from last year. The company reported quarterly net income available to common stockholders of $36.4 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with $19.4 million, or 37 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. (Reuters) Cyprus arrivals down Tourist arrivals in Cyprus fell 2.3 percent year-on-year in January to 50,658 visitors, the statistics department said yesterday. Arrivals from the United Kingdom, the island’s largest market for incoming tourism, declined by 14.9 percent year-on-year. Arrivals from Russia, Germany and Greece, the second-, third- and fourth-largest markets, rose 20.1 percent, 24.3 percent and 3.4 percent year-on-year respectively. (Reuters)