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Cyprus leaders set for dialogue next week March 13, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus News, Cyprus Occupied, Politics.
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The newly elected Cyprus President, Dimitris Christofias, is to meet with Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in Nicosia next Friday for talks that, it is hoped, will lead to the island’s reunification, a United Nations official said yesterday.

The two leaders will meet at the UN’s Headquarters at Nicosia Airport in the presence of the alliance’s representative on the island, Michael Moller, UN spokesman Jose Diaz said.

The announcement was made following a meeting between the two leaders’ aides that was described by Moller as “very cordial and constructive.” “The two aides reached a great degree of convergence on the issues discussed, including on the possible future opening of the Ledra Street crossing,” Moller said.

However Christofias, leaving for a European Union summit in Brussels yesterday, said he was concerned about the “provocative” stance adopted by Talat over the past few days. Christofias reiterated that a stalled July 2006 agreement between the two sides for the launch of exploratory talks on specific issues should be the basis for renewed talks.

Greece’s OPAP to defend its monopoly on local gaming March 13, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Games & Gadgets.
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The reorganization of procedures, the agreement with betting agents and the rationalization of the “Pame Stoichima” [Let's go Betting] betting game are the three top priorities for Christos Hadziemmanouil, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Greek gaming company OPAP.

Speaking to Dow Jones, he said the above three pillars concern the moves of the OPAP administration over the next few months and the aim is for those issues to have closed by June.

Plans for expansion abroad announced by the previous management of the company remain on ice and will be reviewed by the end of the year, said Hadziemmanouil. By that time the move by the European Commission against the company’s monopoly will have unfolded, he added, noting that he will defend the monopoly with all his strength.

“However, if worst comes to worst and we lose the monopoly, then only some very gullible people will believe that OPAP would cease to be profit-making,” he told the international news agency.

On “Pame Stoichima”, the OPAP head said that the undertaking of its management by the company was a huge step. OPAP will introduce new forms and new fields of betting in order to strengthen it, although these moves will not be made before the existing betting fields are rationalized.

Hadziemmanouil also remarked that a crucial change in the company’s operation will be the basis of a new relationship it wants to have with its agents. OPAP has begun negotiations with the agents’ federation for the signing of a new agreement between the two sides, and talks have been progressing rapidly.

Related Links > http://www.opap.gr  and http://www.pamestihima.gr

Privatization of Greek ports bill gets go-ahead March 13, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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The bill conceding the service sectors of the Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports to private investors was passed last night, in principle, in Parliament.

The government has shown therefore that it is determined to proceed with the major reform of ports that will boost their essential infrastructure and render them more competitive, using contracts that had been signed in 2002 and 2003 for the first time and conceding the management of ports to the Piraeus and Thessaloniki Port Authorities [OLP and OLTH, respectively].

The upgrade of their infrastructure via the agreement of private investors to undertake their service sectors is estimated to bring in up to 450 million euros.

Greece’s Folli-Follie rising profits March 13, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Fashion & Style, Shopping.
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Jewelry and accessories retailer Folli-Follie said yesterday profits rose 12 percent in 2007 after it gained control of Elmec Sport in October.

Net income increased to 72.7 million euros from 65.2 million in 2006, on sales growth of 46 percent to 706.2 million euros. Japan and other Asian nations accounted for 62 percent of total sales last year.

Folli-Follie owns Greek airport retailer Hellenic Duty Free Shops, which said separately net income reached 33.5 million euros last year as sales advanced 38 percent to 414 million. Elmec Sport, which is 94 percent-owned by Hellenic Duty Free, had net income of 14.2 million euros last year, according to the statement.

Related Links > http://www.follifollie.gr/gr/Home_new.htm

Panathinaikos to shoot for top basketball spot March 13, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.
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Reigning European basketball champion Panathinaikos will look to capture the top spot in the Round of 16’s Group D tonight when the Athens basketball club hosts group front-runner Siena. The Italian club leads with a 3-1 record with two rounds remaining. Panathinaikos and Partizan share second place with 2-2 records.

“There’s not much to say before a game that looks like a final for Panathinaikos,” said coach Zelimir Obradovic. “Siena is a really good team that we know very well. Without a doubt, our objective is to win the game and cover the nine-point losing margin of the first round.”

Also tonight, Olympiakos, on 2-2 in Group F, a win behind leader Real Madrid, is hosted by last-placed Zalgiris, on a 1-3 record.

Greece’s OTE selects Ericsson for IPTV project March 13, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Media Radio TV, Technology, Telecoms.
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Ericsson has been selected to act as end-to-end IPTV systems integrator, solution provider and business consultant for tier one Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE SA).

The integrated IPTV solution for OTE comprises of headend systems from Tandberg Television, part of the Ericsson group, middleware application, content distribution platform and a customized and flexible consumer portal. The solution will also involve complete implementation and integration of tools for operational management.

Ericsson was chosen for its proven ability to deliver a complete IPTV solution that meets the market demands. The IPTV solution will enable OTE to offer new and sophisticated services to its consumers. The initial offer will include a wide variety of broadcast channels, video on demand, electronic program guide, and personal video recorder capabilities.

Ericsson offers an end-to-end IPTV solution consisting of IPTV middleware, video on demand, network-based PVR, IPTV headends, content protection, IPTV infrastructure, systems integration and IPTV applications such as games. Ericsson has to date signed more than 180 IPTV contracts. Those include commercial contracts, trials, IPTV System Integration projects, IPTV headend contracts and IPTV infrastructure contracts for access, metro transport and IP Edge.

Ericsson is the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. The market leader in 2G and 3G mobile technologies, Ericsson supplies communications services and manages networks that serve more than 185 million subscribers. The company’s portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, and broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and developers. The Sony Ericsson joint venture provides consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices. 

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