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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-10-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Industry source cites potential of cruise tourism
  • [02] SEB: State cartel the biggest thorn for economy

  • [01] Industry source cites potential of cruise tourism

    An additional five million tourist arrivals could be added via sea cruises if Greek authorities supported the sea cruise industry, Yiannis Evangelou, the president of the Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies (HATTA), stressed on Tuesday.

    Speaking to reporters, Evangelou said the port of Piraeus has all the capabilities of duplicating, in eastern Mediterranean, the role that Barcelona plays in the western Mediterranean, while he underlined that a decisive factor was a climate of stability and security in Greece.

    HATTA's head said the Mediterranean was the most rapidly growing sea cruise region in the world, with growth prospects capable of exceeding even the Caribbean, which showed signs of saturation. He also underlined the intention of large sea cruise companies to "anchor" in Greek ports and to begin cruises around the Mediterranean using Greece as a hub.

    The sea cruise industry attracts more than 11 million customers each year, with this number steadily growing. Around 3.2 million customers hail from Europe, while the United States remained the largest source of cruise tourists (totaling 9.1 million annually).

    Around 14,000 Greek nationals boarded a ship for a sea cruise last year, while a total of 1.2 million cruise passengers made transit passages to Piraeus.

    Caption: A file photo shows a new Louis Hellenic Cruises vessel, the Greek-flagged "Sea Diamond", off the Cyclades holiday island of Santorini last April. ANA-MPA / STR

    [02] SEB: State cartel the biggest thorn for economy

    The head of the Greek Federation of Industries (SEB), the most influential employers' grouping in the country, on Wednesday went on the offensive after nearly a month of high-pitch criticism aimed squarely at the domestic milk industry amid repeated accusations that it operates as a price-manipulating cartel.

    SEB president Dimitris Daskalopoulos, who previously headed the Delta Group Holdings (today's Vivartia), one of SE Europe's largest dairy products manufacturers, charged that the Greek state itself and its affiliated public sector comprise the primary "pathogenesis" afflicting the economy and Greek society.

    "The state-supported economy doesn't answer to anyone, and the costs are paid by the taxpayers; it corrodes competition, increases unemployment and corruption. There's a need for us to pass from the state-supported to the competitive economy," Daskalopoulos stressed.

    In answer to a question regarding recently unveiled portions of the 2007 draft budget by the government, the SEB president said the draft budget was in "the right direction ... correct, from a management standpoint, but lacking in terms of reforms."

    ANA-MPA file photo of Daskalopoulos. (M. Kiaou)


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