ECONOMY

In Brief

OTE plans voluntary redundancy scheme Telecoms operator OTE said in a statement yesterday that it was working on a voluntary redundancy scheme aimed at aligning its fixed-lines-per-employee ratio with the European average, to boost productivity and competitiveness. The announcement came after reports that the operator planned to reduce its work force by an estimated 4,000. OTE said it would be cooperating with employees over the redundancy scheme. Responding to the reports earlier, Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis said OTE was not in danger from its employees but from «erroneous corporate decisions.» Koulouris again charges against the specter of rising prices Deputy Development Minister Kimon Koulouris yesterday dismissed projections of a wave of consumer price rises as from January, saying similar predictions about the last three months had proved false. He said the ministry’s campaign against profiteering was effective and would continue, and would include, if necessary, a call to consumers to boycott specific products. Koulouris also said he had written off fines imposed on private schools for raising tuition fees above the prescribed ceiling last year, saying almost all were old Francophone schools struggling to survive and had agreed to a strict 3.8 percent increase this year. Intralot Gaming system operator Intralot said yesterday its nine-month group pretax profit rose 22 percent year on year to 77.7 million euros ($92 million). Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the period increased 24 percent to 87.8 million euros on sales growth of 12 percent to 254 million euros. Group pretax profit after minorities rose 19 percent to 73.8 million euros, compiled according to Greek GAAP. The results are not directly comparable to last year’s figures as they included Intralot subsidiaries in Chile, Bulgaria, Romania, the former Yugoslavia, Cyprus and Moldova, which the company started to consolidate in its first-half results. Pretax profit based on International Accounting Standards came to 87 million euros and EBITDA was 91.2 million euros. (Reuters) Exporters Greece’s exporters have protested over their exclusion from a recent legislative provision granting firms an extension of the deadline for booking undocumented tax deductibles from gross profits as special expenses. «At a time when the significance of the outward-looking orientation of the economy is recognized and strategies and ways are being sought for turning exports into a dynamic factor of growth, the Panhellenic Exporters Association (PSE) would like to believe that its exclusion from the provision is due to oversight,» said a group statement. PSE insisted such expenses are transparent and subject to tax controls. Greece-Ireland Greece and Ireland have signed an agreement for the prevention of double taxation of incomes. «Various tax restrictions are lifted and cooperation between tax authorities for fighting evasion is strengthened,» said Deputy Finance Minister Apostolos Fotiadis.