Business: Fiat launches production in Serbia


A central Serbian town opened the first Fiat auto plant in the country. Also in business news: Macedonian tourists flock to the Bulgarian mountain resort of Bansko and unemployment in Greece reaches record highs.

The Fiat Srbija auto plant Kragujevac will employ 2,400 people. [Reuters]

Fiat Srbija (FAS) opened an auto plant on Monday (April 16th) in the central Serbian town of Kragujevac, where the new Fiat 500L model will be produced. The facility, based on the grounds of former Serbian automaker Zastava, will create 2,400 jobs by the end of this year and will have an annual output of 300,000 cars.


Tourists from Macedonia flocked to Bulgaria's biggest mountain resort of Bansko during this year's Easter holidays, Bansko Union of Tourist Business chair Yanka Rahova said on Sunday (April 15th). Greeks also accounted for a big share of tourists. Meanwhile, more than 100,000 Bulgarians visited Greece for the holidays.


Unemployment in Greece reached a new record in January, hitting 21.8%, two times higher than the eurozone average, Greek statistics service ELSTAT announced on Thursday (April 12th). The unemployment rate was 17.7% in 2011, compared to 12.5% in 2010. In December last year it stood at 21.2%.


Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Croatia reached 1.05 billion euros last year versus 295.3m euros in 2010, according to the country's central bank data published on Friday (April 13th). The biggest investments were made in the banking sector -- 267.3m euros, followed by real estate -- 264.4m euros, and the chemical industry -- 236.8m euros. Dutch companies lead the list of foreign investors, followed by Germany and Austria.


Workers at Serbia's Dunav Agregati shipping company staged a three-day blockade of traffic down the Danube River on April 11th, protesting unpaid salaries. The blockade was lifted on Friday after they reached an agreement with the company's management.


The Croatian island of Porer is included in the list of the world's top ten most affordable private islands according to the Business Insider magazine. The tiny island southwest of Istria can be walked around in just over a minute, has one lighthouse on it, and can be rented for around $630 a week.


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Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister Mimoza Kusari Lila said on Sunday (April 15th) that her country will sign a free trade agreement with Turkey. The statement came at a meeting of businessmen in Bursa organised by the Association of Industrialists and Businessmen of Rumeli.


Unemployment in Turkey dropped 1.7% points to an annual rate of 10.2% in January, the country's statistics institute Turkstat announced on Monday (April 16th). According to the data, there were 2,664,000 unemployed in January, versus 3,044,000 during the same period a year ago.

(Various sources -- 11/04/12-18/04/12)

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