ECONOMY

In Brief

Greece has among highest rates of low-paid in EU Seventeen percent of Greek working people are low-paid and a significant number of them face the specter of poverty, according to a study in EU member states by the European Industrial Relations Organization (EIRO), based on data supplied by the trade union umbrella body GSEE’s Labor Institute (INE). A low-paid person is defined as receiving less than 60 percent of the average wage. Little work experience, low educational level, absence of trade unions and new flexible forms of work are seen as the main factors maintaining high rates of low-paid workers. According to the table, Denmark has an equal percentage of low-paid workers to Greece, and only the UK and Ireland have higher rates, 21 and 18 percent respectively. INE does not rule out the existence of a significant number of citizens that may fare worse than the 17 percent, being unregistered laborers without insurance and receiving less than collective labor agreements. ASE signs cooperation agreement with NYSE The Athens Stock Exchange yesterday signed a cooperation agreement during a ceremony in New York to collaborate on market development and the exchange of information, the Greek bourse said. «The Athens-New York alliance further advances the globalization of equities and underscores the importance of cross-border, cross-market cooperation,» NYSE Chairman Dick Grasso was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Greek bourse. No further details were available. The government, with a 33 percent direct stake in Hellenic Exchanges, the holding company that owns the Athens stock and derivatives exchanges, plans to fully privatize the company. (Reuters) Copyrights The US Business Software Alliance has given its annual «Cyber Champion» award to Prime Minister Costas Simitis «for his government’s policy against software piracy and in favor of copyrights and the spreading of information technology to government departments, schools and the public.» The US administration has expressed satisfaction with Greece’s efforts to protect copyrights. Papastratos Tobacco firm Papastratos, Greece’s biggest, yesterday reported group nine-month pre-tax profit growth of 4.5 percent to 29.46 million euros year-on-year. Turnover grew 7 percent to 306.3 million euros. If capital gains of 2.4 million euros from the sale of the company’s share in Alpha Bank Romania are deducted from the results of the same period last year for comparability reasons, 2002 nine-month net profit is 14 percent higher. The firm said its Greek market share continued improving and now stands at 15 percent. Health fair The first international exhibition of medical equipment and of personal care products and services «Hygeia & Care 2002» opens in Thessaloniki’s Helexpo center at noon today and will last until Sunday. The event hosts 60 direct and indirect Greek exhibitors, and a further 19 from 10 foreign countries. Lannet Private telecoms firm Lannet Communications hopes to capture a 5 percent market share by 2005, having invested 26 million euros and planning to invest 60 million more.