ECONOMY

In Brief

Fischler has soothing words for CAP worries EU Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler said yesterday he was satisfied with Greek preparations for the interim revision of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) when the country assumes the rotating presidency of the EU next year. He dismissed claims that the EU was planning to abolish the CAP. «CAP is non-negotiable and necessary for European agriculture… Claims that there will be cutbacks and farmers’ incomes will be reduced are mistaken,» he told a press conference in Athens. Fischler said the Commission will shortly unveil its proposals for fishing in the Mediterranean and that it was prepared to consider a revision of the regulation for cotton which appears to be problematic. Competition Commission considers abuses of dominant market position The Competition Commission is considering imposing a fine on Hellenic Petroleum (HP), Greece’s largest and state-controlled refinery group, for abuse of dominant market position in relation to discounts which the company has been found to be offering to distribution partners, market circles said. The case, on which the Commission has prepared a report, is due to be heard on October 21. A spokesman for HP said: «There are no problems between our company and the Competition Commission. If we are called for any reason to set out our views we shall obviously respond.» The Competition Commission earlier this year imposed a fine of 2.9 million euros on Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company for this practice. The Commission’s secretariat yesterday proposed endorsement of the application for an injunction brought against listed firm Images & Sound by its Thessaloniki-based franchisee Videoseven, which argued that the franchisor abused its dominant market position and violated its contract terms by distributing directly to video shops in northern Greece. Olympic Airways The European Commission has started proceedings to refer Greece to the European court over the failure of state-run Olympic Airways (OA) to install by April 1, 2002 hush kits on the engines of its 737-200 jets in order to reduce noise levels. OA was the only EU airline that failed to meet the 10-year deadline set by an EU regulation in 1992. The Commission dismissed the government’s request for exemption on the grounds of the airline’s dire economic straits and the adverse effects of the September 11 events, noting that «the decisions for such investments are made more than six months before implementation.» China trade The Exporters’ Association of Northern Greece (SEVE) is holding two events, one in Thessaloniki and one in Athens, for the briefing of enterprises on EU-China Partnerariat 2002 and opportunities for business with Chinese firms. The events will start at 6 p.m. on Monday, September 30, at Thessaloniki’s Chamber of Industry at 27 Aristotelous St, and at 5.30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 1, at the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 7-9 Academias St. The EU-China Partnerariat 2002 is a meeting of representatives of 400 Chinese enterprises and an equal number of EU firms, including 40 Greek ones, planned to take place in Beijing on November 7 and 8, 2002. More information may be obtained at www.seve.gr/china.