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Panathinaikos FC opens with win October 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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Panathinaikos striker Dimitris Salpiggidis and Aberdeen defender Michael Hart competed for the ball during yesterday’s UEFA Cup tie in Athens, which the Greek side won 3-0.

Panathinaikos, one of five Greek soccer clubs through to the UEFA Cup’s group stage, defeated Scottish visitors Aberdeen 3-0 in an opening Group B match last night for an early lead in its group.

In Group H, Panionios drew 1-1 away against Swedish club Helsingborg after taking the lead. Later last night, AEK was hosted by Sweden’s Elfsborg in Group C and Larissa faced English club Everton at Goodison Park in a Group A game. Aris were not in action. The top three teams from eight five-team groups advance to the next stage.

Late Wednesday night in the top-tier Champions League, 10-man Olympiakos gave hosts Real Madrid a real fright before succumbing 4-2. Olympiakos, which led 2-1 well into the game with a player less from the 13th minute of play, currently lies second in its group, three points behind Real with half its group games played. The top two advance to the next stage.


EasyJet acquires GB Airways October 26, 2007

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EasyJet acquires GB Airways, which serves airports in Greece

UK-based budget airline easyJet announced yesterday the acquisition of GB Airways Ltd, a franchise partner of British Airways Plc, for 103.5 million pounds (147.8 million euros), excluding GB’s slots at Heathrow Airport.

Owned by Greek-Cypriot tycoon Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, easyJet will cooperate with British Airways for a smooth transition, with full integration of Gatwick-based GB into easyJet expected from March 30, when all GB services will be under easyJet colors.

GB this season operates flights to four Greek destinations: Corfu, Myconos, Iraklion and Rhodes, while easyJet flies to Athens.

Saudi Basic to open Greek office October 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) will open an office in Greece as it seeks to to increase chemicals sales in Southeastern Europe, the world’s largest chemical company by market value announced yesterday.

The Athens office will open in January and cover Greece, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania, SABIC said in a statement.

No restraints on Greek fighter jet buys October 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece News.
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No restraints on Greek fighter jet buys, says source

Greece will rethink plans to buy 30 fighter jets and decide on the number according to its present defense needs, a senior Defense Ministry official said yesterday.

Greece, which has the EU’s top defense spending as a percentage of GDP, said last year it was postponing the purchase, which had attracted companies such as the Eurofighter consortium and Lockheed Martin Corporation. “All options are open, and there are no restrictions to how many will be purchased,” the senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. “The size and time of the purchase will be determined by the threat we feel,” the official said. “We will buy as many as necessary.” Experts say that could now mean as many as 60.

Vivartia ready for takeovers October 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Food Greece.
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A series of takeovers has been announced by food company Vivartia as included in the firm’s new business plan for the five-year period 2008-2012.

To this end, the company is intending to pour in 800 million euros, almost double the amount projected a few months ago. In addition, excluding any fine likely to be imposed by the Competition Commission, Vivartia has proceeded to an upward revision of its forecasts regarding the company’s basic economic indices.

More specifically, the average growth in sales in 2008-2012 is projected to increase to 20.8 percent as compared to the previous 2007-2009 projection of 8 percent. For this year specifically, the food company estimates that its turnover will rise to 1.108 billion, against the 1.011 billion of its previous projection, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) will come to 166 million. Sales in 2008 are expected to amount to 1.452 billion and EBITDA 217 million.

It is believed that return on capital would gradually rise to 19.6 percent in 2012, a year that is projected to record sales of 2.8 billion. Annual growth of profits per company share is estimated to run at 24.9 percent.

Vivartia’s new business plan is envisaged to safeguard the company’s consolidated activities, with targets including to “strengthen Vivartia’s role as a consolidated organization,” placing emphasis on boosting activities in Southeastern Europe.

Plans in the dining sector include the firm’s entry into the food delivery market, through a chain of stores to be established in SE European states. Furthermore, new distribution networks for frozen foods are to be utilized in Bulgaria and Romania, while plans for expansion in dairy and bakery products would be realized through a number of takeovers in foreign states.

Submission of Vivartia’s new business plan is expected to facilitate the lifting of the suspension of the company’s stock, to be followed by a private placement, reported to account for 20 percent to 25 percent of the firms equity at a price higher than 25.00 per share.

Greece still a thirsty oil consumer October 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Energy.
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Greece remains a country that is highly dependent on oil, to a far greater extent than any other EU country, as shown by official Development Ministry data on the country’s energy needs.

Net oil imports in Greece account for 65.2 percent of gross energy consumption, compared to a eurozone average of 44 percent and just 32.9 percent in the EU-15. As much as 57 percent of energy demand in Greece is met by oil consumption.

According to Eurostat data, energy consumption in Greece per real GDP unit remained unchanged between 1991 and 2002, while a drop of 15 percent and 9 percent was recorded during the same period in the EU-15 and eurozone respectively. Currently, the energy efficiency index in Greece is at 66.1 percent against the European average of 71.3 percent, which ranks Greece in the fourth-to-last position.

Natural gas was first introduced in 1995 and renewable energy sources began to be measured as electricity generation sources in the late 1990s.

The transport industry in 2005 represented 39 percent of final energy consumption, having risen 37 percent compared to 1990 levels. Also in 2005, the overall consumption by the tertiary, household, state and private sectors stood at 41 percent, compared to 32 percent in 1990.

The industry in recent years has been a more stable energy consumer, with 4.1 metric tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2005, or up 0.2 Mtoe (5 percent) compared to 1990.

Crude and oil products are imported into Greece primarily from Russia (32.3 percent), followed by Saudi Arabia (31.1 percent) and Iran (28.6 percent). At the same time, however, significant exports of oil products are made to the USA, Turkey, Libya and Syria. In 2005, total oil product exports rose to 4.8 million tons.

As far as natural gas is concerned, overall demand is met by imports from Russia (85 percent) via Bulgaria, and by liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Algeria (15 percent). In 2005 and 2006, natural gas imports totaled 2.8 billion cubic meters and 3.1 billion m3.

Boars and bunnies in hunters’ sights October 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Nature.
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The hunting season has been extended on Lemnos and Lesvos so that locals can attempt to cull the population of wild rabbits and boars on the islands.

Rabbits have caused farmers on Lesvos problems for a number of years. A number of measures have been taken on the northeastern Aegean island, including the release of sterile polecats but they do not seem to have had an impact.

Now, the Agricultural Development Ministry is allowing hunters to hunt the bunnies even at night. The Ministry has also extended the hunting season on Lesvos to tackle the growing number of wild boars that are roaming the island. It is thought that someone released a few animals into the wild around five years ago, possibly in the hope that they would breed and provide decent prey for hunters.