ECONOMY

Prime minister promises support to store owners

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said yesterday the government will do all it can to compensate business owners whose stores were destroyed during riots in the center of the Greek capital in the last few days. Weekend riots destroyed about 130 shops in Athens’s commercial center and owners of surviving businesses say a Christmas season already overshadowed by global economic crisis may now be lost altogether. The Athens Shopowners Association told a news conference that members needed immediate support to weather the crisis, asking for loan and tax payments to be suspended among other measures. ‘I have asked the national economy and finance minister (Giorgos Alogoskoufis) to explore all possibilities so that we can immediately and completely compensate citizens for damage suffered,’ the prime minister said in a televised statement.