Ships dumping waste to be illegal as of 2009 Dumping of waste by ships in the Mediterranean Sea will become illegal as of May 1, 2009, the United Nations Environment Program said yesterday. «This represents major progress in efforts to protect the Mediterranean environment, because ships often jettison their garbage into the sea,» Luisa Colasimone, spokesman for the Athens-based Mediterranean Action Plan agency, told AFP. A statement said the new rules prohibit the ditching of «all plastics, including but not limited to synthetic ropes, synthetic fishing nets and plastic garbage bags.» It also extends to «all other garbage, including paper products, bags, glass, metal, bottles, crockery, dunnage, lining and packing materials.» (AFP) Consumers complain mostly about airlines and telephony Airlines, lottery games and time-share companies caused most of the complaints submitted last year to the European Consumer Center in Greece. From the 292 complaints filed, a third concerned the loss or damage of luggage, cancellation or delay of flights and denial of boarding by airline companies. Just under 30 percent of these were filed by non-Greeks. Separately, telephony and Internet services had the lion’s share of complaints submitted last year to the General Federation of Consumers in Greece, with over 2,000 citizens filing complaints. Intralot in Madrid Greek lottery systems supplier Intralot said yesterday it has been awarded a license to manage sports-betting games in Madrid as part of its expansion plans. «We are optimistic that further autonomous communities of Spain will be attracted by the benefits expected to arise in Madrid and will very soon open their sports-betting territory,» said Intralot CEO Constantinos Antonopoulos in a statement. Intralot’s Spanish subsidiary, Intralot Iberia, will develop a network of more than 100 points of sale. (Reuters) Turkish c/a deficit Turkey’s current account deficit rose 18.7 percent year-on-year to $3.687 billion in February, the central bank said yesterday. In January, the current account deficit was $3.934 billion. Analysts forecast that a slowdown in economic growth in the remainder of this year – due to high interest rates – would put the brakes on the current account gap. The full-year forecast was for a deficit of $43 billion. (Reuters) Cyprus growth Cyprus’s economy will grow by at least 3.5 percent this year, slowing from 4.4 last year, the island’s finance minister said yesterday. Public debt will fall to 47 percent of GDP from 54 percent in 2007 while inflation is expected to decelerate to 4.0-3.5 percent by the end of the year from 4.9 percent in February, Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis said. (Reuters) Digital preparedness Greece has fallen eight positions to 56th this year in the World Economic Forum’s ranking of digital preparedness among 127 nations. Meat receipts Receipts issued for any type of meat sold have to clearly state the country of origin of the product. The measure came into force yesterday but officials said not all butchers were ready to comply.