ECONOMY

In Brief

Finance Ministry’s last call for final tax settlement The Finance Ministry is sending out notifications to more than 100,000 small businesses and self-employed professionals who have not availed themselves of the opportunity for a final tax settlement under blanket procedures for the 1993 to 1998 fiscal periods, announced last year, to do so by March 31 or face summary book inspections that may lead to fines. About 650,000 businesses had opted for such settlements by March 18. Summary inspections in the first two months of the year produced revenue of 433 million euros, up 89.7 percent year-on-year. Ministry officials said this will be the last opportunity for settlement. The Finance Ministry is to further tighten disbursements to the public sector for the duration of the Iraqi war, with a view to boosting the budget’s emergency reserves. Italy’s Mondadori enters Greek publishing scene Italy’s biggest magazine publishing group Mondadori, with a 40 percent market share, will pay 18.2 million euros for a 20 percent stake in Attica Publications, with an option for 20 percent more within 18 months. «Jointly with Mondadori, Attica Publications is preparing an ambitious program of dynamic growth in Greece and Eastern Europe,» a statement said. Mondadori is controlled by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Stock market The Capital Market Commission and the Athens Stock Exchange said they were monitoring developments closely and were in contact with each other and counterpart authorities in the EU with a view to adopting any concerted measures if the need arose as a result of the Iraq war. Olympics Two more cruise ships, MS Oosterdam 5 and MS Rotterdam 4, of Holland America Line, will take part in the hospitality program for the Olympic Games next year, according to an agreement signed yesterday between Athens 2004, the organizers, and Sportius Hospitality. Athens 2004’s Spyros Capralos said the two ships, which have a respective capacity of 1,848 and 1,316 passengers, will dock in Piraeus and accommodate, among others, the Olympic teams of Russia, Ukraine and Cyprus. Piraeus Piraeus port in 2002 ranked fourth in Europe in terms of merchandise and passenger traffic. The container business grew by 20.51 percent, while the number of merchant ships reaching port (from other domestic and foreign ports) rose 17.82 percent. Passenger departures and arrivals totaled 22 million, up 10.62 percent from the rest of Greece but down 24.88 percent from abroad. There were 534 cruise ship arrivals. Travel Card An Athens court yesterday ordered an immediate stop to the advertising campaign of Travel Card, which claims to offer buyers «accommodation for the price of breakfast» in more than 500 hotels throughout Greece, according to a statement by the Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourism Agents (HATTA), which has filed for an injunction against the card. The order will apply until the injunction is heard.