ECONOMY

In Brief

Passenger traffic in descent at Athens Airport Athens International Airport said yesterday that passenger traffic fell 3.9 percent in the first 10 months of the year, hit by «turmoil» in the economy. The total number of people passing through Greece’s biggest airport dropped to 13.45 million, from 14 million in the same period a year earlier, the company said yesterday in a statement posted on its website. International traffic declined 1.9 percent and domestic traffic fell 7.2 percent. In October, 4.4 percent fewer passengers passed through the airport than in the same month in 2009. International travelers rose 1.8 percent, after a four-month decline, to 874,130, while domestic passengers fell for a seventh month to 440,186, a 15 percent drop, according to the statement. (Bloomberg) Romanian PM survives no-confidence vote BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc survived his third no-confidence vote this year as expected yesterday, enabling his fragile coalition to press on with reforms to keep a 20-billion-euro bailout on track. The leftist opposition fell 46 votes short of toppling Boc, who is turning out to be one of Romania’s most resilient prime ministers in the two decades since communism, in a motion called over International Monetary Fund-backed wage reforms. That was a wider margin than the two previous confidence votes in 2010 and indicates Boc can probably hold onto power until scheduled elections in 2012, even if the opposition persists with attempts to topple him, as many analysts expect. «I think the opposition is diluting the importance of no-confidence votes and is losing steam as a result,» said Barclays Capital economist Daniel Hewitt. Another no-confidence vote is due on Thursday, which analysts also expect him to defeat. «Thursday could even be a wider margin,» Hewitt commented. But yesterday’s reprieve did nothing to change the fact that Boc’s centrist coalition, with only a slim parliamentary majority, may still struggle to push through important legislation. Initiative award Coca-Cola HBC has won the top prize for its «Mission Water» initiative in the European Excellence Awards 2010. The annual awards, which took place at the Zofin Palace in Prague, honor the most outstanding achievements in communications from across Europe. The Mission Water2 campaign took the top spot in the «Greece and Cyprus national and regional campaigns» category. The winning program, which was created to address an acute shortage of fresh water in the Mediterranean region and the Greek islands in particular, highlighted the urgent need to manage water in the country and engaged citizens in effectively protecting and preserving water resources. Power profit Greece would gain some 1 billion euros from the sale of a 40 percent stake in Public Power Corporation’s lignite-fueled power stations and the mines that feed them, according to a European Commission report. The value of 40 percent of the lignite assets owned by PPC, the country’s biggest electricity provider, is estimated at 2 billion euros by the Commission’s report. The state owns 51 percent of the company. Tax evasion Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors charged four people yesterday, including a former high-level Finance Ministry official, in a tax evasion case that cost the state about 44 million euros. Romanian tobacco company Galaxy Tobacco failed to pay taxes for the transfer of about 1,000 tons of tobacco to an Italian company, CTS ltd, from 2007 to 2009, prosecutors said. (AP) Bulgarian jobless Bulgaria’s unemployment rate will rise to 9.4 percent this year, less than a forecast of 11.4 percent, Labor Minister Totyu Mladenov told reporters yesterday in Sofia. The jobless rate rose to 9.1 percent in November from 8.9 percent in the previous month, the minister also announced. (Bloomberg)