ECONOMY

In Brief

Finance Ministry preparing plan for public revenue-boosting inspections Traders and the self-employed whose tax registration number (AFM) ends in 9 will be the focus of random checks in their accounting books in 2004, according to the plan of the Finance Ministry, which is said to be giving added weight to such inspections for boosting flagging public revenues. The ministry is also preparing an urgent plan of inspections into past fiscal years of enterprises, with a priority on the year 1998, for which the legal possibility expires at the end of 2004. The plan is said to take into account new forms of tax evasion. Inspections into pre-1998 years will continue for cases of forged tax documents and books which have been confiscated due to irregularities. Separately, Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis is due to chair the first big meeting on budget issues tomorrow. Greek trade deficit with Turkey soars as volume breaks record The volume of Greek-Turkish trade rose 47.1 percent to more than $1.3 billion in 2003, a historical high. Greece’s trade deficit with Turkey widened 71.7 percent to $477.19 million in 2003, from $277.9 million in 2002. Turkish exports to Greece grew 52.8 percent to $902.64 million, while the reverse trade flow rose 36.16 percent to $312.46 million. A large Turkish business delegation will be at Thessaloniki’s Ioannis Vellidis conference center on Friday, April 23 from 12.30-5.00 p.m., for contacts with Greek counterparts. The event is sponsored by the Turkish government and the delegation will include representatives of firms of consulting and legal services. For more information, tel 2310.370.132 at Thessaloniki’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Think tank Professor Plutarchos Sakellaris, of the Athens University of Economics, is the new head of the Economy and Finance Ministry’s economic think tank. The members include two more professors of the same university, Apostolos Philippopoulos and Eleni Louri-Dendrinou, who is also economic adviser to the prime minister. The two other members are professors Nikitas Pittis, of the University of Piraeus, and Ioannis Mourmouras of the University of Macedonia. Technical Olympic Technical Olympic USA, the housing development subsidiary of the same-name listed Greek construction company, said it signed 2,821 sale contracts for homes in the first quarter, against 1,632 in the same period last year. The firm’s backlog of signed contracts for construction is $1.25 billion. Pay pact Labor union and employers’ representatives this morning are holding their third meeting for negotiations over a national pay pact. The previous two meetings proved fruitless; unions want raises of up to 8 percent, while employers’ opening offer was 3.2 percent. Internet Internet station chain e-Global has inaugurated a 110-computer facility on Michalakopoulou Avenue, its first in Athens. The Thessaloniki-based firm has plans for more facilities in Glyfada, Halandri, Faliron and Alexandras Avenue.