Croatia, Turkey are top tourist destinations, survey says


Visitors will continue to flock to the Adriatic, according to an association's survey. Also, Turkey is in talks to build another nuclear power plant.

Croatia’s tourism industry accounts for 18 percent of its GDP. A new survey predicts it will be Europe’s leading tourism destination in 2013. [AFP]

Croatia will be the leading tourist destination in Europe in 2013, according to a survey carried out by the Turkish Travel Writers Association. The second country in the list is Turkey, followed by the Czech Republic, Portugal and Iceland.


Turkey is in talks with companies from Canada, China, Japan and South Korea to build a second nuclear power plant near the Black Sea city of Sinop, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz announced.


Greek retailers have registered their weakest Christmas sales in 10 years, according to preliminary evaluations by experts from the National Confederation of Greek Commerce. Sales this year shrunk by 40 percent compared to 2011, the estimates showed.


All 30,000 Fiat 500Ls produced in Serbia have been sold, Fiat Serbia Director Antonio Cezare Ferrara told Vecernje Novosti on Saturday (December 29th). He said the cars were sold out so quickly they had no time to refill stock. Ferrara said the company is working on a model with seven seats, which will be launched at the start of 2013.


Turkey will repay its debt to the IMF by May next year, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday (December 30th). The country's remaining obligations under the $23.5 billion loan amount to $860 million.


Montenegro adopted the country's Pre-accession Economic Programme for 2012-2015. The priorities will be to secure conditions for stable economic growth and job creation, maintain balanced public finances and set a trend to reducing public debt and continuing structural reforms. As part of fresh austerity measures, the government envisions introducing a temporary crisis tax of 3 percent on all gross salaries above 416 euros.


Serbia has the highest inflation in Europe, the president of the country's Central Bank Council of Governors, Nebojsa Savic, said. He said Serbia will end 2012 with an inflation of 13 percent, and the trend of acceleration will probably continue next year. Meanwhile, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce reported a drop in foreign direct investments (FDI). Data show that in the first nine months of the year FDI registered a net outflow of 21.2 million euros, mainly due to the recession in EU countries and unfavourable local macro-economic indicators.


Croatia will offer a grant of 6,615 euros to every citizen who decides to build a swimming pool in the country. The decision, which will become effective next year, aims to extend the tourist season and increase tourism revenues. It is part of a programme of incentives launched by the tourism ministry, which targets mostly small and medium-sized hotels and private accommodations.


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Greece's Central Bank said that the capital needs of local banks are estimated to reach 40.5 billion euros after the debt restructuring measures implemented earlier this year. The country has earmarked 50 billion euros for the process.


The minimum wage in Turkey will be raised in two stages next year, Labour Minister Faruk Celik announced. Starting on January 1st, the minimum salary will be raised by 5.91 percent to 701.1 TL (297.31 euros) per month, and in July there will be another hike by 6.09 percent to 739.8 TL (313.73 euros).

(Various sources -- 26/12/12-02/01/13)

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