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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-07-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't eyes measures to reduce emissions
  • [02] Report: Greek pharmaceutical market undergoing changes
  • [03] One-time OTE board member to testify in Siemens case
  • [04] Building materials' price index off 2.8% in June
  • [05] OA plane in emergency landing

  • [01] Gov't eyes measures to reduce emissions

    Measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, with an emphasis on pollution caused by vehicles, were on agenda during an inner cabinet meeting on Wednesday in Athens, with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis chairing the meeting at his maximos mansion office.

    Afterwards, Town Planning, Public Works and Environment Minister George Souflias said higher "environmental taxes" will be levied on vehicles based on the amount of emissions produced by their engine. So-called "green" vehicles will reportedly enjoy a reduction in license and road taxes, whereas gas-guzzling and older technology cars could see increases of between 50 to 150 euros. The new rates will come into force for 2010.

    Souflias also announced a new programme (2009-12) to retire older vehicles via incentives that will be funded by higher road taxes and not the state budget.

    Among others, the minister referred to the establishment of a "green" perimeter in Athens that will exclude older model cars, while he categorically rejected the options of toll booths in the city or allowing diesel passenger cars.

    [02] Report: Greek pharmaceutical market undergoing changes

    The Greek pharmaceutical market is currently witnessing a wide-range of changes, with Novartis taking the lead in the market, outpacing Pfizer and Sanofi-Aventis in an environment of lower sales volume and higher sales value, a report by IMS stated on Wednesday.

    The report, measuring the sales of pharmaceutical enterprises to pharmacies - the off-hospital pharmaceuticals market - in the first five months of the year, showed that sales volume was down 0.3 pct, compared with the corresponding period last year, while sales value was up 6.8 pct reflecting the sales of new, pricier medicines.

    Novartis, with a 17.7 pct rise in the value of sales, raised its market share to 8.0 pct, leaving Pfizer behind in third position with a 7.9-pct market share and Sanofi-Aventis.

    Vianez, representing Merck, among others, recorded a 4.2-pct rise in sales with a market share of 6.4 pct. Boehringer Ingelheim is the only multinational group to maintain a production unit in Greece and remains the biggest exporter of Greek pharmaceutical products.

    [03] One-time OTE board member to testify in Siemens case

    Former Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE S.A.) board member Georgios Skarpelis, one of the suspects in a large-scale bribery and money-laundering case involving German multinational Siemens and its Greek subsidiary, Siemens Hellas, will testify before a prosecutor on Friday.

    Skarpelis, who was detained pending trial, was initially released on Tuesday following a decision by the Athens first instance court judges' council (No 2319/09), only to be again remanded in custody based on a new arrest warrant issued by an examining magistrate.

    [04] Building materials' price index off 2.8% in June

    The building materials' composite price index fell 2.8 pct in June, compared with the same month last year, after an increase of 8.2 pct recorded in June 2008, the National Statistical Service said on Wednesday.

    The statistics agency said the index was up 0.1 pct in June from May, while the average index for the 12-month period from July 2008 to June 2009 was up 3.4 pct, compared with the previous 12-month period.

    [05] OA plane in emergency landing

    An Olympic Airlines (OA) was forced to make an emergency landing at Alexandroupolis' Democritus Airport, in northeastern Greece, on Wednesday morning after reportedly flying into a flock of birds, several of which were sucked into the plane's engines shortly after takeoff.

    OA flight 941 to Athens returned immediately to the airport where it landed safely. The roughly 60 passengers of the plane reached their destination with other airlines.

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