Boost for economy

The number of companies that will take part in the biennial Posidonia shipping exhibition, scheduled to start June 7, have risen to 1,855, from 1,780 in 2008, with the largest growth coming from Asian firms. Organizers of the exhibition said that more than 10,000 people are expected in Athens for the weeklong event, providing a 50- to 60-million-euro boost to the local economy. The shipping industry, a major source of income for the country, is expanding despite Greece’s deepening recession. Data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority showed that the number of Greek merchant vessels with a capacity of more than 100 gross registered tonnage (GRT) rose to 2,128 in March, from 2,112 in December. Economists estimate that the sector accounted for about 5 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product in 2009. More information is available at