In Brief

Worst of global crisis is over, says Stavrakis NICOSIA (Reuters) – The worst of the global crisis is over but efforts are still needed for the recovery to be sustainable, Cyprus Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis told Reuters in an interview. «It seems the worst is over, we have avoided the collapse of the global economic system but further effort is still needed to make sure there is a sustainable recovery, not a weak economic growth for years to come,» he said. Stavrakis, whose country’s economy makes up 0.2 percent of the eurozone, said there are quite a few green shoots emerging globally but the challenge remained whether the recovery would be robust, move at very low growth rates or even be followed by a further slowdown. He said the European Central Bank (ECB) was doing a good job of balancing inflation pressures with efforts to boost recovery. «When you have interest rates at around 1.0 percent, it is unclear whether further reductions would be the deciding factor to reactivate the economy, even though certainly they could marginally help,» he said. Romania plans to sell shares in property fund Romania plans to sell shares in a 13.6-billion-lei ($4.5 billion) property fund on the Bucharest Stock Exchange this year, said Stere Farmache, the exchange’s president. The share sale will speed up after the government selected Franklin Templeton Investment Management Ltd yesterday to manage Fondul Proprietatea, a fund set up to compensate Romanians for property confiscated under communist rule, Farmache said at a seminar in Bucharest yesterday. Fondul Proprietatea owns stakes in 88 companies, including Romania’s largest oil company Petrom SA, Transelectrica SA and Transgaz SA, the state’s power and natural gas transportation grids, and Banca Comerciala Romana SA, the country’s biggest bank, according to the fund’s website. (Bloomberg) Petrol leaps Slovenia’s largest fuel retailer Petrol jumped almost 7 percent in early trade yesterday after Russian oil giant Gazprom revealed it had been approached about buying a stake in Petrol. Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller said on Wednesday that no decision had been made about the company’s interest in Petrol but added that it had received an offer to buy it. (Reuters) Spending cut Bulgaria’s government announced yesterday that it will cut ministers’ pay by 15 percent and curb all extra spending to combat a drop in its budget revenues amid the global economic downturn. «The aim is to steady our fiscal position in the current conditions of global financial and economic crisis,» it said in a statement. The measures include cutting by 15 percent the monthly salaries of Socialist Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev, his four vice premiers and all ministers, heads of state agencies and political cabinet chiefs. Meanwhile, the salaries of 400,000 civil servants will not be increased by 10 percent in July, as promised, although the government upheld a previous decision to increase pensions by 9 percent as of July. In addition, all state-funded institutions will have to limit spending on work trips abroad, mobile phone bills, seminars, new cars, computers and air-conditioning units. (AFP)