ATHENS, July 3 Greece's betting monopoly OPAP
has begun a voluntary redundancy scheme for about
three-quarters of its staff to cut costs, one of its biggest
unions said on Thursday.
OPAP, one of Europe's largest betting companies, declined to
say whether it was offering the scheme, which will mainly affect
its retail network supporting services, according to a document
outlining the programme seen by Reuters.
Greece sold a majority stake in OPAP to Czech-Greek fund Emma
Delta last year, marking the country's first major privatisation
under its European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout.
The voluntary redundancy programme will run from June 30 to
July 15 for about 656 people, union leader Christos Kakouratos
told Reuters. OPAP's staff totals about 900 people.
Since taking over in October, the new management has said it
will go ahead with plans to launch a video lotto business in the
country as well as to cut distribution and staff costs.
OPAP, which offers sports betting and lotteries through
about 5,000 agents in Greece and Cyprus, had revenues of 3.7
billion euros ($5.05 billion) last year. Staff costs accounted
for about 1.5 percent of that amount.
($1 = 0.7331 Euros)
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Karolina Tagaris
and Jane Merriman)