ECONOMY

In Brief

Kokkalis sees sinister plot against himself and Intracom Evidently emboldened by recent favorable judicial decisions concerning his alleged involvement in a number of criminal activities, the chairman of telecoms equipment-maker Intracom, Socrates Kokkalis, yesterday lashed out at his critics, saying the attacks of the last 13 years which portrayed him as worse than Al Capone exceeded the bounds of science fiction and were akin to a «situation of Freudian parapsychology.» A majority of the country’s 212 appeals court judges last week voted against a bid by Supreme Court prosecutor Evangelos Kroustallakis to have a high-level investigation into charges of espionage, embezzlement, money laundering and fraud against Kokkalis. A lower judge has proposed they be shelved. Kokkalis told shareholders Intracom was a model of business growth in Greece, saying, «We are proud to be national suppliers,» and that Intracom had paid the equivalent of 3.5 billion euros, or 45 percent of revenues, in taxes since 1988. He called for OTE Telecom’s full privatization, and projected a 5 percent fall in sales and a 15 percent drop in group pretax profit for 2003. OA pilots’ talks for share in revamped scheme break down After protracted talks, Olympic Airways pilots failed to reach an agreement with the Transport Ministry over their possible equity participation in a revamped downsized scheme for the carrier, reports said last night. In an earlier statement, the pilots’ union charged the company with chartering aircraft with Turkish and African crews instead of using its own staff. OA sources said the practice concerns the carrier’s subsidiary Macedonian Airways during the summer months at very competitive rates. Separately, OA said it had signed an agreement with Gulf Air to carry travelers to Sydney via Bahrain daily as of November 23. Turkish economy Turkey said yesterday its gross national product (GNP) grew 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2003 year-on-year. GNP grew by 7.8 percent in 2002 as the economy began to emerge from one of its worst ever recessions following severe financial turmoil in 2001, with the help of a $16 billion IMF austerity program. The OECD said in April that growth was expected to fall off both this year and next, mainly because of high interest rates and economic fallout from the war in neighboring Iraq. But Ankara has insisted that its 5 percent target is realistic, maintaining that the war’s impact has been minimal. (AFP) TAXISnet All firms and professionals keeping «Category B» books will have to submit their quarterly value added tax statements in electronic form as of the third quarter of 2003, after obtaining certification for access to the TAXISnet system, the Finance Ministry said. Already 422,000 taxpayers have been certified and a further 350,000 remain. Applications for certification and instructions are available over the Internet (address: http://www.taxisnet.gr), and further information can be had by calling 210.480.2552, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The deadline for third-quarter submissions is October 26. Banking law National Bank of Greece Governor Theodoros Karatzas was elected the first chairman of the the Greek Society for Banking and Capital Market Law, established last month.