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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-03-30

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Samaras meets tourism representatives
  • [02] PPC reports spectacular profits

  • [01] Samaras meets tourism representatives

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras met Tuesday with the board of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), for talks that were also attended by ND shadow tourism development minister Olga Kefalogianni.

    Speaking to reporters afterwards, Kefalogianni said that tourism is a crucial strategic priority for Greece both with respect to exiting the current crisis and to long-term development.

    She accused the PASOK government of irrational actions, such as abolition of the autonomous tourism ministry and VAT increases, which downgrade the essence and importance of tourism but also the competitiveness of the country's tourism product.

    ND insists that the structural changes need to be accompanied by a long-term strategic plan for tourism with the emphasis on the competitiveness of the Greek tourism product and its qualitative upgrading.

    Asked whether more advertising is necessary, she said that much more than just projection is needed, such as interventions in air transport and infrastructure, as well as more professional promotion, and reiterated ND's firm position for the creation of an autonomous tourism ministry.

    SETE board director N. Angelopoulos said that the meeting had been very positive, and that the two sides agree on most of the issues discussed.

    Questioned on this year's tourism season, he said that patience is needed due to the crisis, noting that bookings have been down in recent years, while he also expressed concern over negative projection in the media, observing that "when bad things happen, it is the top news item".

    On the structural changes needed in the sector, Angelopoulos called for the creation of an autonomous tourism ministry, coordination of tourism under the supervision of the prime minister, the creation of an independent agency for projection and advertisement in a more technocratic way, with the participation of both the public and the private sector, and the introduction of the post of secretary general for tourism with a five-year term for implementation of a long-term policy.

    [02] PPC reports spectacular profits

    Public Power Corporation, Greece's electricity utility, on Tuesday reported pre-tax profits of 993.1 million euros last year, after losses of 395.9 million euros in 2008 and said after tax earnings totaled 693.3 million euros from a loss of 305.9 million euros over the same periods, respectively.

    Turnover totaled 6.03 billion euros last year, up 3.9 pct from 2008. PPC said 28.2 pct of total income was spent on liquid fuel, natural gas, energy purchases and CO2 emission rights, sharply down from a 53.2 pct rate in 2008. The utility attributed this positive development to a significant decline in international fuel prices, an 8.0 pct rise in the participation of domestic fuels (lignite, water, renewable sources) to its energy mixture to 60.4 pct in 2009, from 52.2 pct in 2008 and to a decline in domestic demand.

    EBITDA soared 388.2 pct to 1.677 billion euros last year, while EBITDA margin jumped to 27.8 pct from 5.9 pct in 2008.

    Commenting on the results, Arthuros Zervos, PPC's chairman and chief executive, said: "2009 was a year with very good financial performance compared with the previous years. This mainly reflected increased participation by hydro-electric and lignite production to the energy mixture and a very significant decline in fuel and energy prices."


    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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