Metro sells Greek business due to crisis

Swedish free newspaper publisher, Metro International has announced the sale of its Greek arm due to the parlous economic situation in the country, which has hit advertising revenues.

“The Greek (advertising) market has been affected by some time and was hard-hit by the macroeconomic environment, its therefore clear that (the sale of the Greek division) was influenced by the crisis,” investor relations director Linda Fors told AFP.

Metro International said in a statement it was selling Metro Greece to Voisins Limited, who will continue publishing the newspaper as part of a franchise agreement.

It added the transaction would cost it €1.8 million ($2.2 million) because of transaction fees billed by the mediating bank.

Since the beginning of the global economic crisis, which sent advertising sales worldwide plunging, Metro has sought to center its activity on its main northern European markets.

It shut down its Spanish edition and has sold its US, Italian and Portuguese divisions.

Metro is published in 19 countries and the company estimates it has some 17 million daily readers.

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Social Democrats call for Malmö underground system

Malmö’s Social Democrats have backed plans to build an underground railway in the city which could then be connected to Copenhagen through a tunnel under the Öresund straits.

Social Democrats call for Malmö underground system
The Copenhagen Metro in Örestad, near to the Öresund Straits. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT / Kod
Malmö mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh wants the city to begin drawing up plans for an underground railway with at least five stops: Malmö Central, Södervärn, Värnhem, Västra Hamnen and Nyhamnen. 
“We need to plan for a traffic system where we take into account being a city of half a million people,” she told the local Sydsvenskan newspaper. 
“And the traffic system needs to be able to handle more than just those who live in Malmö because we represent 50 percent of the growth in new jobs in Skåne and in addition are experiencing growing tourism.” 
Stjernfeldt Jammeh said that if her party manages to hold onto power after Sunday’s election, she aimed to push forward with the plans even before an investment decision over the Öresund Metro link. 
“There is a good reason in going underground, because we need to be economical with space on the surface,” she said. 
Sweden’s Liberal Party was the first to suggest building an underground in Malmö, with the Social Democrats instead pushing for a tram network until the plan was voted down by the centre-Right Alliance in Skåne’s regional government.