ECONOMY

In Brief

Court tells bank to be less curious about customers’ personal data An Athens court yesterday ruled as abusive and null certain conditions under which EFG Eurobank Ergasias grants loans and issues credit cards. The court said that the abusive term was that the signing of an application for such services also amounted to an authorization to the bank to process a customer’s personal data without his/her prior knowledge. The non-notification of the customer of the identity of the person in charge of the processing of personal data, and of his/her right to objection was ruled as illegal. The court also judged as unsatisfactory the draft amendments to the controversial terms that the bank produced. The court ruled 30,000 euros as compensation for moral damages to the members of consumer organization EKPOIZO who filed the case; the bank will also be liable to a fine of 5,000 euros for each new violation. Elval launches aluminium recycling facility; other plans in progress Metallurgy firm Elval yesterday inaugurated its Aluminium Can Recycling Center in the Athens suburb of Maroussi, with an annual capacity of 2,800 tons. Environment Minister Vasso Papandreou, who attended the opening, said similar regional centers will be launched later this year in addition to the seven already operating in Attica, Patras and Zakynthos. Fourteen other facilities recycle various types of solid waste. Elval is investing about 190 million euros in a primary aluminium recycling plant in Oinofyta, north of Athens. Its recycling center (www.canal.gr) buys cans from the public and accepts visitors in groups. ELPE shutdowns Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) will shut its 140,000-barrels-per-day refinery in Aspropyrgos for about six weeks from mid-April, a spokesman said. The turnaround, which will involve a rolling schedule of unit shutdowns from April 18 until the end of May, will be followed in the fall by maintenance work at ELPE’s other plants in Elefsina and Thessaloniki. The 100,000 bpd refinery in Elefsina will undergo a partial shutdown affecting only crude distillation capacity for 13 days in October. The 67,000 bpd plant in Thessaloniki will have a general shutdown in September for 20 days. (Reuters) Company taxation Despite a promise by Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis to the opposite, his departments are preparing to call on enterprises to pay lump sums for the irrevocable absolution of any tax sins they may have committed in the fiscal years 2001 to 2003. Separately, the ministry said the government’s partial privatization program yielded 5.81 billion euros in revenues in the last two years, of which 3.15 billion were earned in 2003. McDonald’s Fast-food chain McDonald’s Hellas yesterday dismissed rumors of its acquisition by rival Goody’s. CEO Ilias Malamas said the parent company has invested 90 million euros in the Greek subsidiary and intends to stay and see it grow further. McDonald’s today operates 60 stores in Greece (47 of which are franchises) and plans to open three more at Olympic installations which will close after the Games. Malamas said profitability is projected for 2007.