ECONOMY

In Brief

Minister says IT to improve links between citizen and administration The government has a particular interest in promoting the use of electronic facilities in the task of governing (e-governance), Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said yesterday. Its application implies a form of control and openness for the acts of the administration. Any citizen will be able to check for himself on the progress of various documents concerning him by visiting the website of the responsible department, he said during an event titled Electronic Governance in Practice, organized by Microsoft. He said the government would aim to increase demand for such services through a program to be announced soon and that the ground was fertile for success given that Greeks spend more per head on information technology (IT) products than other Europeans. It also plans to boost the rather slow pace of small enterprises in connecting with the Web, which hampers the effort, through its Get Networked program. Cash-and-carry outlets form federation Cash-and-carry outlets in Greece have set up their own federation with the aim of promoting their interests both locally and abroad. The Federation of Cash-and-Carry Companies in Greece (SEKE), also plans to carry out research to improve their operations. G. Laoutaris of Atlantic Supermarkets has been appointed president of the organization while H. Wagner of Makro is the vice president. Cash-and-carry stores differ from traditional retailers as they do not offer credit sales nor a distribution network. Lecture on Japan. Professor Motoshige Itoh, an adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, is to speak on the Japanese economy at Macedonia University in Thessaloniki on Friday. The event is organized by the city’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Japanese Embassy and Macedonia University. Notice of intention to attend is required, contact (031) 220.937 and 224.438. OA flights more expensive. Olympic Airways fares are going up by $3 on all domestic and international flights as of today. The increase was decided after a careful study of factors influenced by the events of September 11 in the USA, which also have an impact on operating costs, a press release said yesterday. Plias Emboriki debuts. Retail and distribution company Plias Emboriki which made its debut on Monday expects to see gross sales amounting to 20 billion drachmas this year. The company, a member of the Plias Group – formerly known as Papoutsanis- will service supermarkets and retailers nationwide. Its range of items include Coca-Cola HBC’s Frulite, Trofeclect’s Mars and Dove products, Friesland’s dairy products, Allatini’s Anthos flour and Zanae products. The company has distribution centers in Koropi, Kifissia, Thessaloniki, Larissa and Iraklion. The holidays in the Far East have a softening effect on the market. Baltic indexes reflect accordingly, working on lower numbers.