ECONOMY

In Brief

Greece leads in tax burden rise Greek households and enterprises have shouldered the largest increase in taxation in the European Union and the second largest among the 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in the last 15 years, according to the OECD’s latest report. Total tax revenue rose from 28.6 percent of GDP in 1985 to 38 percent in 2000. Earlier this year, the government announced a gradual reduction in the tax rates for non-listed companies from 40 to 35 percent, and a 10 percent reduction in the tax rate for companies that are merged. According to a tentative timetable, a committee looking into overhaul of the taxation system will report its recommendations in spring 2002 and the new measures will be introduced on January 2003. Turkey topped the OECD list of tax increases as part of GDP from 15.4 percent in 1985 to 32.8 percent in 2000. The tax burden rose in 18 member countries and fell in the remaining 12. Hungary and Ireland recorded impressive decreases. Ministers to address tourism conference The ministers of development, Nikos Christodoulakis, and of culture, Evangelos Venizelos, have been invited to address the second tourism conference of the Hellenic-British Chamber of Commerce and the British Embassy, to be held in a central Athens hotel on October 19 and 20. The agenda includes the role of quality services in the future of Greek tourism, recent developments and issues related to the 2004 Olympic Games. Meanwhile, sources say that following recent international developments, the National Tourism Organization (EOT) may revise its initial plans to spend 7 billion drachmas on an advertising campaign for Greek tourism, which envisaged spending 15 percent in Germany, 14 percent each in the USA, the UK and Ireland, 9 percent in France, 8 percent each in Italy and in the Scandinavian countries, and 4 percent each in Switzerland and the Netherlands. Ericsson to supply Info-Quest. Ericsson will supply and install the basic equipment for the operation of mobile and wireless local loop telephony services by the Info-Quest information technology group, according to an agreement announced in a press release yesterday. Info-Quest, which acquired the relevant licenses earlier this year, projects that the new networks will be launched into service early in 2002. The group reported consolidated turnover of 484 million euros and profits after tax and minority rights of 33 million euros in 2000. Deposit Surety Fund. The reserves of the Deposit Surety Fund (DSF) amount to 127.4 billion drachmas, mainly originating in the contributions of the 43 member credit institutions, domestic and foreign-based, DSF Chairman and Deputy Governor of the Bank of Greece Nikos Garganas said yesterday. The members of the fund, which was founded in 1995 and successfully compensated clients of the Arab Hellenic Bank which went into liquidation, includes cooperative banks as well as those based in countries outside the European Union where similar systems are not in operation. DRY CARGO