The 74th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) opens today in the shadow of early general elections called for October 4. The fair will see a slightly reduced number of exhibitors this year – 915 from 35 countries as opposed to 975 exhibitors last year – but the incentives provided by organizing company Helexpo have meant satisfactory demand for participation, despite earlier fears of a somewhat empty fair. There are nearly 250 foreign exhibitors, including 15 official state participants from countries such as Turkey, France, Italy, Hungary, Serbia and Brazil. This year’s edition of the fair will be split into three different sections, two of which are new: «Kid & Fun» and «Tasteland.» There will also be numerous parallel events of a business and cultural character, including two conferences on investment and real estate. Another innovation for the fair this year concerns the awards to be given to companies in northern Greece that have excelled in investment and exports or for their company’s growth rate, titled «Export & Investment Leaders and the Diamonds of Northern Greece.» There will also be an honored prefecture, which this year is Chios, and an honored city, Larissa. The TIF opening times are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends, until September 13, when the fair ends.