ECONOMY

In Brief

NSS rejects claim of false unemployment data for Q2 The National Statistics Service (NSS) yesterday rejected as baseless and malicious a claim by the main opposition New Democracy-party affiliated general secretary of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), Yiannis Manolis, that the latest unemployment data, showing a fall to 8.9 percent in the second quarter, was deliberately falsified… NSS General Secretary Nikos Karavitis said Eurostat endorsed the Greek data, and that its compilation on the basis of the 1991 census, which is also used by pollsters until the 2001 census is fully available, is perfectly legitimate. Manolis also charged that the NSS arbitrarily counted in the figures a large number of immigrants who are underemployed. Hoteliers: Greek tourism hit more than competitors’ The fall in revenues in the Greek tourism sector this year will be a two-digit figure, Greek Hoteliers’ Federation Chairman Makis Kaligeros forecast. He said Greek tourism officials must stop blaming 9/11 as the main reason for the downturn and cited the example of Turkey which, in contrast to Greece, did not halt promotion of its tourism even during the Iraq war. Kaligeros said capacity utilization in Athens hotels fell 13.6 percent in the seven months to July and 17.2 percent in July, year-on-year. He said the respective drops at other European tourism destinations were much smaller. Hotel employment this year is down 3-4 percent, he said. Social ‘package’ The government’s package of financial boosts to a variety of groups, presented on Tuesday, may have a pre-election character but is generous and hoped not to affect the budget negatively, Federation of Greek Industries (SEV) Chairman Odysseas Kyriakopoulos told a radio interview. He welcomed the reduction in the special tax on diesel for industry, something SEV had asked for years, and described as positive the tax measures announced for businesses. e-tax The Finance Ministry’s General Secretariat for Information Systems (GGPS) will present a number of new electronic services for taxpayers and businesses at the Thessaloniki International Fair, opening today, at its own pavilion. These will include declaration forms for intra-EU transactions, vehicles and real estate property. Demonstrations will be available for all Taxisnet services. RES The Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) has approved licenses for 17 power production schemes in renewable energy sources on islands not connected with the national grid. The schemes, totaling a capacity of 19.3MW, were among 53 proposals submitted since March. Three of them came from the Public Power Corporation. Enlargement The European Business Information Center of the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SVVE) provides full information on business opportunities in the enlarged EU on its website (www.enlargement.gr e-mail: [email protected], tel 2310.539.817).