Listed consulting engineer White Young Green has opened an office in Athens to service the construction boom in the run-up to the 2004 Olympic Games.
The move is part of the group's business strategy of increasing its international presence. The firm operates under its WYG international brand in Ireland, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

White Young Green said its Greek team was focusing on transport and environmental work, including airports, highways, hotels and ports projects.

International director Mario Donnetti said work needed for the Olympics included the construction of "overlay" projects, whereby existing sports venues are upgraded for the games.

The new Athens office will be run by Yanni Papapanagiotou.

Donnetti, the former international director at engineer Mott Macdonald, said the £46m-turnover group was also considering a move into Eastern Europe, and mentioned Poland as a possible target.

"We are trying to concentrate on particular countries and markets, rather than adopting a scattergun approach to growing internationally."

He added that the firm would look at foreign acquisitions once it had established operations and association in particular markets.