ECONOMY

In Brief

Five bidders interested in Greek shipyard At least five companies are interested in acquiring ThyssenKrupp’s indebted Greek unit, Hellenic Shipyards, Greece’s alternate defense minister told Reuters yesterday. «There are at least five companies that have so far expressed interest, including a Greek joint venture and a company from Abu Dhabi,» Alternate Defense Minister Panos Beglitis said. (Reuters) Negative attitudes are harming greener policies Negative attitudes toward technologies able to introduce more environmentally friendly practices are holding Greece back from adopting «greener» steps, an expert said yesterday. «Supply and demand are not enough to make growth greener,» Kimon Hatzimpiros, associate professor of ecology at the National Technical University of Athens, told a conference organized by research company StatBank. «There is a trend to reject more advanced technologies.» The professor added that insufficient talks between the government and residents have made people more suspicious of green technologies. PMI drops Business conditions in Greek manufacturing worsened for the third month in a row in November, with the purchasing managers index (PMI) hitting a six-month low of 47.3 from 48.0 in October, a survey showed yesterday. Demand for manufacturers’ goods, particularly from abroad, fell at an accelerated pace as new orders contracted further. The index for new orders fell to 46.9 from 48.0 the previous month, its worst rate of decline since April. «Demand for Greek manufactures fell faster in November, contributing to a sharper deterioration in operating conditions across the sector,» said Markit economist Gemma Wallace. A strike at Piraeus Port, the country’s biggest, and poor economic conditions abroad hurt exports, Markit said. The international crisis suggests a solid recovery of foreign orders may not be imminent, it added. «It seems that any recovery in total new business is likely to be driven by the domestic market,» Wallace said. (Reuters) Bulgarian layoffs Bulgaria’s state railway infrastructure company NRIC plans to make redundant over 550 people next year to streamline its operations amid a deepening economic crisis, it said yesterday. The European Union country plunged into recession earlier this year after 12 years of growth, hit hard by the global economic downturn. NRIC, which currently employs about 15,550 people, said in a statement the layoffs will affect only its management and administrative personnel. Currently NRIC’s liabilities stand at 59 million levs ($45.45 million). Ailing state railway company BDZ alone owes NRIC some 76 million levs in infrastructure fees. In September, BDZ said it would lay off 2,000 people by the end of 2009, after cutting 1,300 jobs earlier this year as the economic crisis bites. More than 100,000 people in the country of 7.6 million have lost their jobs this year, trade unions say. Bulgaria’s jobless rate rose to 8.2 percent in October with analysts saying it will jump to double digits by the end of 2009 as foreign investors flee, exports drop and industries cut operations. (Reuters)