Greece sees increase in tourism


A wave of tourists visited Greece for the Easter holiday. Also in business news: The European Central Bank launched a Eurosystem co-operation programme with Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia

Greece has seen an influx of tourists for the Easter holiday. [AFP]

Greek tour operators have seen a wave of tourists in the country for the Easter holiday. According to Kathimerini daily, most destinations and hotel resorts in the country were mostly full, with occupancy levels reaching 95 percent in some locations. The most popular destination was Corfu, where hotel occupancy averaged 90 percent.


The construction of Istanbul's Eurasian Tunnel, which will connect the European and Asian parts of the Turkish city, has begun. The project is expected to reduce the travel time between the two parts of the city from 100 minutes to 15 minutes.


Bribery in Albanian businesses often remains unreported, as most enterprises consider bribery a routine act, according to a recent UN survey. About 36 percent of business representatives failed to report bribery cases, the survey revealed. Many bribes are paid to speed up a procedure, finalise a procedure or receive better treatment by public officials.


The European Central Bank launched a Eurosystem co-operation programme with the Bank of Albania, the Central Bank of Kosovo and the National Bank of Macedonia. A total of 500,000 euros have been allocated for the programme, which aims to prepare the three institutions for joining the European System of Central Banks once the western Balkan economies have qualified for EU membership.


The Bank of Cyprus has sold its business in Ukraine, Alfa Group, as well as its 10 percent stake in Romania's Banca Transilvania. The move is part of the bank's efforts to reduce risk and improve cash flow.


Albania and Romania will work to further improve economic co-operation and promote investment, Romania's Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Albania's Foreign Minister Arben Ahmetaj agreed at a meeting in Bucharest. The two officials discussed potential in the fields of energy, exports and modernisation of the energy system.


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Global IT company IBM plans to open a Big Data and Business Analytics Centre of Competence in Athens. The centre is part of the company's efforts to deliver technical and consulting capabilities in the region by drawing on an emerging generation of highly skilled local expertise.


Croatia is making efforts to become a regional energy hub, Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak told participants at a Southeast European regional forum held in Zagreb. The event drew more than 200 people from across the region.

(Various sources 16/04/14-23/04/14)

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