ECONOMY

In Brief

Five suitors bid for Rhodes power plant Five companies and consortiums tabled bids in the second stage of the tender for the development of a modern electricity production plant in Rhodes, the Public Power Corporation (PPC) announced yesterday. The bidders are Wartsila Finland, Terna, Athina, the Aktor-AEGEK-ENET consortium and the Atermon-Prometheus Gas consortium. J&P-Avax has pulled out of the second stage, as it has a large stake in Athina. Bids will be technically evaluated in the next two to three months and then financial offers will be opened. The plant, in the southern part of the Dodecanese island, will have a capacity of 110-120 megawatts. Dia supermarket slapped with fine for fixing prices Supermarket chain Dia Hellas must pay a fine of over 5.19 million euros for fixing the retail prices at its franchises, thus breaking competition regulations, the Competition Commission decided yesterday. The hearing revealed that although suppliers offered a 20-25 percent discount to Dia, that did not trickle through to the stores, and therefore to consumers. The commission also found that in certain cases where Dia offered discounts on specific products, profit margins actually became negative for retailers. Moscow rail link The first direct train service between Thessaloniki and Moscow began operating yesterday, using Russian sleeping carriages. The weekly service will run throughout the summer until September 22, departing every Monday from Thessaloniki and every Friday from the Russian capital. Second-class tickets start from 135 euros. Turk surplus Turkey’s budget will run a surplus in May, Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan said yesterday. «According to the preliminary data delivered to me, the budget is running a surplus in May,» he said. «I expect performance that is better than expectations in the budget deficit in 2008… Since 2003, our (budgets) have always come out better than targeted,» he said. May budget data is expected to be announced next week. (Reuters) Romanian growth The International Monetary Fund will revise upward Romania’s economic growth forecast for this year, following strong first-quarter GDP data, but said yesterday it was still expecting a slowdown in 2009. After April’s annual consultations with authorities, the IMF came in with a 5.5 percent growth forecast for this year and a 4.7 percent estimate for 2009, compared to 6 percent in 2007. (Reuters) Serb discipline Serbia’s central bank said yesterday it hopes the incoming government will commit to more fiscal discipline and price stability, so it can switch to targeting overall consumer prices rather than core inflation. The bank presented the government with proposals for explicit inflation targeting in January, central bank Governor Radovan Jelasic said. «We hope they will accept them as quickly as possible,» he said. (Reuters)