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Greek taxi drivers resume strike

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Greek taxi drivers resume strike

.

Athens. Greek taxi owners on Friday agreed to suspend a strike that had disrupted thousands of travellers at the height of the country’s vital tourism season for nearly three weeks, AFP reports.
“The mobilisation is suspended until September 5,” the union of taxi owners said in a statement, according to state television NET, after an emergency union meeting voted by a majority to end the strike.
The taxi owners, who oppose a government deregulation of the sector, agreed to end their action after regional governors pledged not to issue new cab licences pending final decisions by the transport ministry later this month.
In addition to refusing to carry passengers since July 18, the strikers had also blocked highways and disrupted access to airports and harbours, forcing thousands of tourists to miss scheduled site tours.
The mobilisation began after a new transport minister appointed in June ditched a plan agreed by his predecessor with unions that would have capped the number of taxi licences based on the population in each region.
Taxi owners argue that full liberalisation will cause a cabbie glut and sink the value of their operating licences, which used to change hands for six-figure sums.
The deregulation is among structural reforms demanded by Greece’s international creditors the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, in exchange for loans needed to save the country from defaulting on its debt.
Greece’s travel sector, which makes up around a fifth of the economy, needs extra revenue from foreigners this year.
Because a recession fuelled by crash austerity measures has bitten into Greeks’ spare income, domestic tourism is down 20 percent this summer according to Greek tourism and hotel operators.

Italian, Greek ministers to push Albania to solve crisis
Tirana. The Italian and Greek foreign ministers were due to pay a snap visit to Tirana Monday to push Albanian political leaders to solve a long-lasting crisis that threatens the country’s European perspective, AFP reports.
Vecer, Macedonia: Greece closes borders over customs officers’ strike
Athens/Skopje. Greece closes its border checkpoints to Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania and Turkey because of the strike of its customs administration, informs Macedonian Vecer daily.
Dnevnik: Macedonia attracts tourists with damaged roads
Skopje. Macedonian government’s decision to subsidise foreign tourists, who come to Macedonia, turned to be good but without the infrastructure improvement and development, it will not bring a lasting effect, writes Macedonian Dnevnik daily.

of the day 3


Travel advice – PAOK

Thessaloniki is the second largest City in Greece. The capital may be Athens, but Thessaloniki is regarded as the cultural centre and very different from the capital City. THFC fans will find a multitude of things to do here including shopping, sight-seeing, bars, restaurants and local history.

One of the main areas where people collect is Aristotle’s Square, which is surrounded by cafes and bars and is a vibrant, bustling area during both day and night. For those wishing to know more about the City and its origins, there are numerous Byzantine Churches and Roman sites.

However, fans will find the City busier than usual as there is a large Trade Fair taking place during the time the Club will be there.

When ready to leave the City for the Stadium, it is suggested that fans make their way to the White Tower, which is approximately 20 minutes walk from Aristotle’s Square and await shuttle buses to take them to the Stadium. At this point, the local Police will conduct the first of two searches. The Stadium is about 25 minutes from the City Centre and these buses should be available from 5:30pm.

For those who wish to travel independently to the Stadium, you should allow upto an hour for your journey due to the traffic at this time. We do not advise you to make use of the bars within the immediate vicinity of the Stadium as these are strictly for home fans only.

Once at the Stadium, fans should make their way to Gate 8, where a second search will take place, undertaken by Security staff. Items not allowed in include lighters and large amounts of coins – we suggest that fans try to use their coinage in the City centre before departing for the Stadium as we cannot guarantee how or if such coins will be returned.

Welfare facilities inside the section are acceptable with a small catering concession based at the front of the area.

As always, flags and banners with appropriate wording will be welcome at the Stadium and these will be checked prior to entry by Police. It is common policy and normal ground rules at football stadia in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, that flags of an overtly religious/sectarian/political nature will not be permitted and may be confiscated – please respect this request.

As always, there will be a number of THFC Stewards who will be working alongside their colleagues from PAOK. They will be easily identifiable and please feel to approach them if you have any difficulties whilst at the Stadium.

Finally, whilst we fully expect you to enjoy your trip to Thessaloniki and all that it has to offer, we would ask you to respect the Police Authorities at all times and follow their instructions, together with those from PAOK Stewards based at the Stadium and our own THFC staff. Anti-social behaviour, especially drunkenness in the City centre or at the Stadium itself, will not be tolerated and fans risk being arrested if they behave inappropriately.

For more details, follow this link to the travel page of Foreign Commonwealth Office…

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EU plans to exclude wayward Schengen nations

September 12, 2011 10:26 pm


History brought to life in Battle of Marathon re-enactment

MARATHON, Greece – Sweating beneath heavy armour, a group of die-hard archaeology fans brought the Battle of Marathon to life this weekend on the coastal plain where the fate of Europe dramatically changed 2,500 years ago.

Gathering from Europe, North America and Australia, the re-enacters staged a three-day event of combat, archaic culture revival and commemoration at Marathon Bay never before seen in Greece despite its rich archaeological heritage.

For many of the participants, it was also a personal pilgrimage after long years of arduous preparation and unfulfilled hope.

“It’s a dream come true after 10 years,” said Hywel Jones, a printer from Wales who came to Marathon with his wife Stephanie to fight as a Greek hoplite, the heavily armed infantry soldier of ancient Greece.

Most of the re-enacters had spent thousands of euros (dollars) on travel expenses just to get to this small town 40 kilometres (25 miles) northeast of Athens that is better known for the long-distance race held here every year.

They brought with them family members as well as hand-made armour and kit crafted over the years at great personal cost.

“I don’t think I’d be exaggerating to say that standing around is $1 million in kit and travel fare,” said Christian Cameron, a Canadian novelist and former US navy career officer who headed preparations for the event.

“What you see today is the product of 11 years of work,” added Andy Cropper, a university lecturer from England’s Sheffield region and member of a British historical revival association who arrived with several sets of Greek, Persian and Scythian armour in tow.

“It was worth spending the money because it’s such a unique event, as a Greek re-enactor, to be able to be on the field of Marathon,” he told AFP.

The re-enacters initially had to persuade their hosts in Greece that this was the correct moment to commemorate the 2,500-year anniversary of the 490 BC battle in the bay of Marathon.

“Originally everybody thought it was last year, and of course it wasn’t, as there’s no year ‘zero’,” Cropper noted.

Few in number but no less determined, the group showed they meant business from the start, setting up camp near the presumed battlefield, sleeping on straw-filled mattresses and serving up a simple diet of vegetables, fruit, cheese and water in wooden bowls and cups.

Spare armour was quickly put to good use among the combatants as a set of last-minute cancellations and the loss of a large contingent from Bulgaria left the event badly short of Persian adversaries.

“We would have had 15 more hoplites but what we really missed is that the Bulgarians were Persians, and that would have helped us a lot,” Cameron said.

Organisers had initially hoped for a turnout of 200 but had to settle for 50 battle-ready Greek hoplites and a handful of Persian archers.

They were also refused permission from the Greek culture ministry to access archaeological sites such as the tomb of the Athenian warriors slain in the battle, and the ancient Agora and Acropolis in Athens.

But the municipality of Marathon was more amenable, providing logistical support and allowing the group to hold a memorial ceremony to honour the Greek and Persian fallen at the battle’s victory monument.

“I think the town would like us to come back every year,” Cameron said, though the cost to the participants makes an immediate re-run unlikely.

“I think it would be three years,” he notes. “They want to do it again, we’ll do it better. Fifty people is a start, 500 is an achievable goal.”

One of history’s most famous military engagements, the Battle of Marathon is also one of the first to be recorded by chroniclers.

It gave its name to the world’s premier long-distance running event, inaugurated during the first modern Olympics in 1896 in honour of an Athenian messenger believed to have run back to the city to deliver news of the victory, and subsequently dying of exhaustion.

Although only the citizen armies of Athens and Platea fought against the Persian levies that day, the battle galvanised the warring Greek city-states and demonstrated that the Persian Empire, the superpower of the age, could be defeated.

“People argue that it is the battle where the Greeks saved Western civilisation. People can equally argue that it was the moment at which a great civilisation, the Persian civilisation, lost control of the West,” Cameron said.


Greece Default Risk Jumps to 98%


Enlarge image

Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou

Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

George Papandreou, Greece’s prime minister.

George Papandreou, Greece’s prime minister. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) — David Blanchflower, a professor at Dartmouth College and Bloomberg Television contributing editor, talks about the European debt crisis and euro.
He speaks with Erik Schatzker on Bloomberg Television’s InsideTrack.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Greece’s chance of default in the
next five years has soared to 98 percent as Prime Minister
George Papandreou fails to reassure international investors that
his country can survive the euro-region crisis.

“Everyone’s pricing in a pretty near-term default and I
think it’ll be a hard event,” said Peter Tchir, founder of
hedge fund TF Market Advisors in New York. “Clearly this
austerity plan is not working.”

It now costs a record $5.8 million upfront and $100,000
annually to insure $10 million of Greek debt for five years
using credit-default swaps, up from $5.5 million in advance
Sept. 9, according to CMA.

Papandreou’s promises to adhere to deficit targets that are
conditions of the European Union and International Monetary
Fund’s bailout were undermined by data showing Greece’s budget
gap widened 22 percent in the first eight months of the year.
The nation’s two-year note yield climbed toward 70 percent,
while its stock market has plummeted by a third in the past
seven weeks.

The default probability for Greece is based on a standard
pricing model that assumes investors would recover 40 percent of
the bonds’ face value were Greece to fail to meet its
obligations.

The nation’s government now expects the economy to shrink
more than 5 percent this year, more than the 3.8 percent
forecast by the European Commission, as austerity measures
deepen a three-year recession. The euro slipped to its lowest
level against the yen since 2001 amid concern about the future
of the 17-bloc region.

Regional Contagion

The risk of contagion beyond Greece pushed sovereign
credit-default swap prices to record highs across the euro
region. European bank debt risk also rose to the highest ever
amid speculation French lenders will be downgraded because of
their holdings of Greek bonds.

The Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe Index of credit-
default swaps on 15 governments soared 18 basis points to a
record 354. The Markit iTraxx Financial Index linked to senior
debt of 25 banks and insurers increased 14 basis points to 314
and the subordinated index jumped 15 to 550, both the highest
ever, according to JPMorgan Chase Co.

“The contagion impact of a default will be severe, because
next in the firing line will be Italy, Spain and it will take in
the whole of the European banking sector too,” Suki Mann, a
strategist at Societe Generale SA in London, wrote in a note.
“This trio are already under intense pressure, but it will get
much worse.”

Portugal, Italy

Credit-default swaps on Portugal, Italy and France surged
to records, according to CMA, which is owned by CME Group Inc.
and compiles prices quoted by dealers in the privately
negotiated market. Portugal jumped 79 basis points to 1,213,
Italy rose 40 basis points to 503 and France was up 11 at 189.

The euro weakened as much as 2 percent to 103.90 yen, the
lowest level since June 2001. The common currency dropped 0.4
percent to $1.3600.

The ASE Index of Greek stocks fell 4.4 percent to 847.48,
from 1,286 on July 22. Greece’s two-year note yields jumped more
than 12 percentage points to a euro-era record 69.551 percent,
after climbing 9.8 percentage points last week.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is debating how to
support German banks should Greece fail to meet budget-cutting
terms of its rescue package, three coalition officials said
Sept. 9. Credit-default swaps on BNP Paribas SA, Societe
Generale SA and Credit Agricole SA, France’s largest banks,
surged to all-time highs on bets they’ll have their ratings cut
by Moody’s Investors Service this week.

French Banks

Swaps on SocGen were 53 basis points higher at 443, Credit
Agricole increased 41 to 331 and BNP Paribas rose 31 basis
points to 306, according to CMA.

Moody’s placed the three banks’ ratings on review in June
to examine “the potential for inconsistency between the impact
of a possible Greek default or restructuring and current rating
levels,” the rating company said at the time. Downgrades are
likely as the review period concludes, said the people with
knowledge of the matter, who declined to be identified because
the information is confidential.

The cost of insuring corporate debt rose to the highest
levels in 2 1/2 years, according to JPMorgan. The Markit iTraxx
Europe Index of 125 companies with investment-grade ratings was
up 6.5 basis points at 198.5 after rising to as high as 204.

Contracts on the Markit iTraxx Crossover Index of 40
companies with mostly high-yield credit ratings climbed 22.5
basis points to 797.5 after earlier touching 811.5, the highest
since May 2009. An increase signals worsening perceptions of
credit quality.

A basis point on a credit-default swap protecting 10
million euros ($13.7 million) of debt from default for five
years is equivalent to 1,000 euros a year. Swaps pay the buyer
face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash
equivalent should a borrower fail to adhere to its debt
agreements.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Abigail Moses in London at
[email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Paul Armstrong at
[email protected]


Central Holidays and Liberty Travel form preferred supplier alliance


Central Holidays Travel Group announced an agreement with Liberty Travel that makes the Central Holidays family of brands preferred providers for all of the company’s travel agencies offering a wide range of travel services to Italy, Greece, France, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Turkey and Egypt – including motorcoach escorted inclusive tours, independent itineraries, customized group travel, fly/drive programs, cruises, ski vacations, car rentals, and meeting and incentive services.

“We are pleased to be selected as a preferred supplier by Liberty Travel, which is one of the one of the largest and most experienced travel agencies in the U.S.,” said Fred Berardo, President at Central Holidays Travel Group. “The company has more than 170 travel agencies in North America staffed by more than 900 travel professionals as well as a proven and long-standing brand and we look forward to providing them with destination expertise and meticulously planned itineraries as well as superior service, support, and the ideal options to fulfill their clients’ travel needs.”

“This new relationship with the Central Holidays Travel Group family of companies allows our agencies to offer their clients a greater range of travel programs while providing our team of vacation experts with the benefits of exclusive marketing promotions, enhanced training opportunities, and bonuses and incentives to promote and profit from escorted, independent, cruise land, special interest and group travel programs throughout Italy, Europe and the Mediterranean,” said .

Established nearly forty years ago, Central Holidays offers the reliability and security of booking and traveling with a strong, long-established, robust tour operator with a time-honored history as well as an ongoing commitment to providing the best quality travel programs and unparalleled client service. Some unique attributes of a Central Holidays escorted motorcoach tours include well-located European hotels, free wine, mineral water, and coffee with all lunches and dinners on Premier Escorted tours of Italy, and use of the increasingly popular “Hear Clear” personal audio system, which allows travelers to hear their tour directors and local guides detail the visited sights and attractions, even when standing 60 ft. away. Central Holidays is also known for providing bonus sightseeing and features you can only find exclusively on their itineraries, such as excursions to the Modena balsamic vinegar establishment; the Marsala Florio Winery in Sicily; an in-depth visit to the Amalfi Coast and more.


Land of Smiles ranked among best destinations

Thailand has been voted the 4th top World Best Destination, up from 19th last year, according to the UK magazine Conde Nast Traveller’s Travel Awards.

Phuket now ranks among the World’s Top Island Destinations.

Italy took 1st place followed by the United States and Turkey. Thailand was trailed by France, India, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Greece.

According to Conde Nast Traveller, Italy was also ranked high for its culture and cuisine, while South Africa offers the best scenery and Turkey outdoes the competition for its value for money.

Among the ranks of the World’s Top Island Destinations, Phuket was ranked 10th, but was given high scores for value for money and for hospitality; according to the magazine, the island resort was a place where one can find “luxury-on-a-budget and a friendly welcome”.

Among the top nine in this category are the Greek Islands, the Maldives, Bali, Barbados in the Caribbean, Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, the Balearics in the Mediterranean, Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean, St Lucia in the eastern Caribbean and the Seychelles in Indian Ocean.

The survey also listed the best hotels in Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. Four hotels here were listed among the top 20: Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai (3rd), which has the highest standard comfort of accommodation, the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai (12th), Anantara Phuket (14th) and Amanpuri in Phuket (17th).

For the top Overseas Business Hotels, the Upper House in Hong Kong lead with top marks for ambience/decor and standard/comfort of accommodation, while the Sukhothai Hotel in Bangkok ranked 20th among the worldwide best business hotels.

Among worldwide destination spas, Chiva-Som International Health Resort in Hua Hin was voted the 2nd best with high scores for accommodation and service/staff, while the leader in this category was the BodyHoliday of LeSport on St Lucia, which gained top marks for exercise programmes and facilities.

The Six Senses Spa at Six Senses Samui, on the other hand, was the winner of this year’s overseas hotels top spa, gaining credit for offering an individual approach and body treatments.

In the airline category, Virgin Atlantic was the winner for long-haul holidays with top marks for luggage handling, convenience of scheduling and punctuality/efficiency, while Emirates provided the best in-flight entertainment. Singapore Airlines has the highest standards of service/staff, while Cathay Pacific has the best loyalty reward scheme.

Among low-cost airlines, the lead was taken by Bmibaby, a British outfit, while Air Asia (3rd) received high marks for being value for money, and the UK’s Jet2 was noted for its child-friendliness.

Regarding the world’s best airport, Hong Kong International Airport bagged 1st position with top marks for design/layout and shopping/duty-free facilities, followed by Singapore’s Changi International Airport and London Heathrow’s Terminal.

For more details, visit www.cntraveller.com/awards/readers-travel-awards/the-readers-travel-awards-2011/

Seoul mates

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has joined hands with Happy Korea by KTCC and GMM Grammy to introduce an online competition to take two lucky couples to Seoul.

The winners will have a chance to follow in the footsteps of two travel programmes _ Wake Club and Sisterday _ to explore the South Korean capital for three days.

The winning prize also includes accommodation, a guide and round-trip tickets. Other prizes for lucky winners include iPads, iPod Nanos and USB flash drives.

For more information, visit www.visitseoul.net or call 02-539-7387 ext 43.

Airlines update

– Low-cost airline Nok Air will launch a direct flight from Bangkok to Phrae on October 1.

It will fly three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) using a 34-seat SAAB 340B charted from Siam General Aviation or Nok Mini.

The reservations can be made today at www.nokair.com.

– The Air Transport Rating Agency has launched its first annual study on the world’s top 10 safest airlines.

The Geneva-based agency used data from historic accident rates combined with 15 other criteria such as net financial results, average fleet age in service, in house maintenance capability and dedicated flight academy pilot-training facilities.

The top 10 safest carriers in alphabetical order are: Air France-KLM, AMR Corporation (American Airlines, American Eagle), British Airways, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.

– Emirates will launch daily non-stop flights from Dubai to Rio de Janeiro and extend to Buenos Aires on Jan 3 next year.

The expanding routes to the two South America cities also offer an alternative choice for travellers from Thailand to explore Brazil and Argentina, said Khalid Bardan, Emirates’ area manager for Thailand and Indochina.

The airline plans to use Boeing 777-300ER aircraft offering eight First Class Private Suites, 42 lie-flat seats in Business and 304 seats in Economy for the new routes.

Hotels update

– Accor will open Mercure Krabi Deevana as its first hotel at Ao Nang, Krabi in October. The hotel will have a chic design with contemporary low-rise buildings. It will feature 213 rooms and suites, each with a private balcony, a restaurant and bars, three large outdoor swimming pools, a kid’s pool and a spa as well as meeting and events facilities.

The hotel is about 30 minutes’ drive from Krabi International Airport and 20 minutes to the city.

Visit www.mercurekrabideevana.com for more details.

– Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok will be open in December. Located near Surasak BTS station, the hotel will offer 390 rooms and suites with sizes ranging from 30sqm-78sqm. The hotel will also have a family floor with facilities for families with children, a play room, three restaurants, a swimming pool, a fitness centre, an internet corner, an executive lounge on the 32nd floor, grand ballrooms, three meeting rooms and two boardrooms.

– Hilton has opened the Conrad Koh Samui. Located on a 63-rai plot of land on Ao Thai Beach, the hotel features 80 villas with private plunge pools and sundecks. Each villa is built in contemporary Thai-style, with the options of one or two bedrooms. They come equipped with iPod docking station, a LCD flat-screen with a DVD player, an oversized bathtub and glass-walled rain shower.

Other facilities include restaurants, a lounge, a spa, a fitness centre, an outdoor yoga pavillion, an on-site diving and sailing centre and a pier.

Conrad Koh Samu is 28 kilometres from the airport to the west side of the island.


If you have any comments or news to share, send them to [email protected]


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About the author

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Anxious about trade? Here are some cues to help you through

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Anxious about trade? Here are some cues to help you through

Moneycontrol Bureau

The US markets slumped, on Friday, amid fears that Greece may default on its debt and following news that ECB’s Juergen Stark will resign. For the week, the Dow and SP 500 plunged more than 5% each, while the Nasdaq slumped over 4%.

A White House official says President Barack Obama will send congress his new USD 447 billion jobs bill tonight and speak in the Rose Garden to call for swift passage. Obama is also preparing to travel the country to build public support for the package he unveiled last week.

In key data to watch in the US this week:

Weekly mortgage applications will be released on Wednesday. We also expect the producer price index and retail sales on Thursday; empire state manufacturing survey for August will be released. Also watch out for weekly jobless claims, industrial production along with consumer sentiment, which will be released on Friday.

The layoffs at Bank of America may be much more than earlier anticipated. Reports suggest that upto 40,000 jobs or 10% of the company’s workforce may be cut under the first phase of a proposed restructuring exercise. Bank of America intends to shut down 600 branches across America as part of its consolidation move.

Now on to the latest shock from the Eurozone. The rift within the region is now out in the open. European Central Bank executive board member Juergen Stark resigns from his post. Conflict over the ECB’s controversial bond-buying programme has been cited as the reason for the abrupt exit. German deputy finance minister will replace stark.

As a result European markets ended sharply lower. Concerns about rift within the ECB led to nervousness among investors. Barack Obama’s jobs plan failed to lift the gloom, as investors worried about the hurdles it may face in the US congress.

German economy minister Philipp Roesler says that Europe cannot rule out an orderly default for Greece, as it struggles with a crippling debt crisis. Roseler, who is also Germany’s vice chancellor said, “To stabilise the euro we must not take anything off the table in the short run. That includes, in the worst case scenario, a default for Greece.”

Meanwhile closer to home, China, Korea and Taiwan markets, meanwhile, are shut today on account of their harvest festival. [ Check how the rest of the Asian markets trading ]

In the currency space, the dollar index rises to its highest level in more than six months on renewed fears that European policymakers are failing to contain the Euro-area’s debt problems.

Some positive economic data emerged out of China over the weekend, reinforcing a growing consensus that Beijing may keep its key rates on hold.

In commodities, crude falls with a stronger dollar as investors shunned commodity risk because of Europe’s deepening sovereign debt crisis, while economic gloom dampened the outlook for energy use.

From the precious metals space, gold climbs as investors seek to guard their wealth against a potential default in Greece amid concerns that the European debt contagion is worsening. Gold is currently soft in Asia trade.

The Group of seven (G7) meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in Marseille closed at the weekend with an acknowledgement from participants that the global economy is slowing, but with no commitment to take new action to stimulate growth.

And back home, global pressure knocks the Nifty back below 5,100 while Sensex lost 300 points. [ Quick Recap ]

The industrial output numbers for July will be announced today. A CNBC-TV18 poll threw up a forecast of 6.1%.

ONTO SOME STOCK SPECIFIC ACTION

Sources indicated that the Axis-Enam deal has been cleared by Reserve Bank as an all-stock deal . CNBC-TV18 learns that Axis board will meet this week to approve the deal.

Reliance Industries released three reports it commissioned on CAG findings, says global experts entirely validate company stance on the various issues raised by the CAG audit report.

Tata Motors CEO Carl Peter Forster resigns after less than two years of running the company. He resigned citing unavoidable personal circumstances. Tata Motors ADR fell 7% on Friday post the news.

Sources tell CNBC-TV18 that Reliance Power has written to the district collector of Raigad Maharashtra asking to withdraw from the Shahapur project . Sources say environmental concerns and the lapsing of the land acquisition deadline for the project are the reasons for the company’s withdrawal.

Sagar Salvi
[email protected]



Central Holidays and Liberty Travel form preferred supplier alliance


Central Holidays Travel Group announced an agreement with Liberty Travel that makes the Central Holidays family of brands preferred providers for all of the company’s travel agencies offering a wide range of travel services to Italy, Greece, France, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Turkey and Egypt – including motorcoach escorted inclusive tours, independent itineraries, customized group travel, fly/drive programs, cruises, ski vacations, car rentals, and meeting and incentive services.

“We are pleased to be selected as a preferred supplier by Liberty Travel, which is one of the one of the largest and most experienced travel agencies in the U.S.,” said Fred Berardo, President at Central Holidays Travel Group. “The company has more than 170 travel agencies in North America staffed by more than 900 travel professionals as well as a proven and long-standing brand and we look forward to providing them with destination expertise and meticulously planned itineraries as well as superior service, support, and the ideal options to fulfill their clients’ travel needs.”

“This new relationship with the Central Holidays Travel Group family of companies allows our agencies to offer their clients a greater range of travel programs while providing our team of vacation experts with the benefits of exclusive marketing promotions, enhanced training opportunities, and bonuses and incentives to promote and profit from escorted, independent, cruise land, special interest and group travel programs throughout Italy, Europe and the Mediterranean,” said .

Established nearly forty years ago, Central Holidays offers the reliability and security of booking and traveling with a strong, long-established, robust tour operator with a time-honored history as well as an ongoing commitment to providing the best quality travel programs and unparalleled client service. Some unique attributes of a Central Holidays escorted motorcoach tours include well-located European hotels, free wine, mineral water, and coffee with all lunches and dinners on Premier Escorted tours of Italy, and use of the increasingly popular “Hear Clear” personal audio system, which allows travelers to hear their tour directors and local guides detail the visited sights and attractions, even when standing 60 ft. away. Central Holidays is also known for providing bonus sightseeing and features you can only find exclusively on their itineraries, such as excursions to the Modena balsamic vinegar establishment; the Marsala Florio Winery in Sicily; an in-depth visit to the Amalfi Coast and more.