ECONOMY

In Brief

Bulgarian farmers threaten to move SOFIA (Reuters) – Protesting Bulgarian farmers threatened a revolt as well as migration of animals to neighboring Greece yesterday if the government failed to pay long-delayed milk subsidies. Around 250 milk producers rallied in front of the agriculture ministry in Sofia as part of mounting protests across the Balkan country that included slaying cattle and blocking roads. Farmers in the European Union newcomer are struggling with high feed prices after a drought slashed crops last year, and after the European Commission froze about 250 million euros ($374.4 million) in pre-accession farm aid over suspected fraud earlier this year. «If we don’t get the money by the end of the week. .. we will start erecting barricades, use stones, stakes and manure (to protest),» said Adrian Tsakonski, chairman of the National Milk ProducersAassociation. «(A) more serious offensive is still to come and they (the government) will eventually bear the responsibility for their negligence and inefficiency,» he added. Greece, Australia deal effective Oct. 1 A pension agreement signed between Greece and Australia will come into effect on October 1. The agreement will allow residents that have lived and worked in each country to claim an old age pension from both or either governments, among other benefits. The agreement affects some 50,000 Greek Australians. Further information can be obtained by contacting Australia’s Centrelink service. Airline activity Turk Hava Yollari AO, the carrier known as Turkish Airlines, may bid for a stake in Austrian Airlines Group, President and Chief Executive Officer Temel Kotil said. The state-controlled carrier may submit an offer for the 43 percent of its Vienna-based counterpart now on offer because it’s seeking to grow via acquisitions as well as organically, Kotil said in a telephone interview yesterday from Istanbul. «We haven’t made a decision yet on whether to bid for Austrian,» he said. «We haven’t held direct talks yet. But I’m not saying we’re not interested in the airline.» The Austrian government on Tuesday approved a plan to sell the stake in Austrian Airlines, the country’s largest, provided that 25 percent of the company is held by a domestic investor. The government is seeking expressions of interest by August 24. (Bloomberg) Port profits Oil Terminal Constanta SA, Romania’s biggest port operator, said its profit rose 8 percent in the first half of the year, without giving a reason. Net income increased to 1.3 million lei ($543,000) from 1.2 million a year earlier, the Romania-based company said in a regulatory filing to the Bucharest Stock Exchange yesterday. Revenue rose 11 percent, while expenses increased 12 percent in the first six months. (Bloomberg) Turkish gas Turkey will boost its natural gas imports from Iran by 7 million cubic meters as of yesterday to make up for a cut in Azeri supplies resulting from the conflict in Georgia, a senior source from Turkish energy company Botas told Reuters. Gas coming from Azerbaijan to Turkey was cut on Tuesday, but a BP official said there were several days worth of gas in the pipeline. Turkey has said it has no plans to cut its gas exports to Greece. (Reuters)