ECONOMY

In Brief

HDW considering court action over shipyard rolling-stock contract Hellenic Shipyards’ majority shareholder Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) has said it is considering taking court action against the government for its alleged failure to meet the cost of an estimated 100-million-euro contract to build rolling stock for Hellenic Railways. The contract had been signed before HDW acquired a majority stake and the management in the state-controlled shipyard in 2002. «We have a contractual right to seek compensation by the end of May 2004 if the Greek side does not observe its obligations,» said Helmut Burnmester, CEO of HDW, in Kiel last week. HDW officials said they are not aiming at a reversal of the shipyard’s purchase but at «a fair solution for all.» Sources said the Greek Defense Ministry is currently one of HDW’s biggest clients, having placed a 1.8-billion-euro order for four submarines, and is inclined to counter with a claim that this cost has been inflated by about 30 percent. Investment subsidies for upgrading small tourism accommodation The current deadline for applications for subsidization of investment in modernizing small tourism accommodation facilities is May 15. Proposals are submitted twice annually until 2006, and those that do not meet the current deadline will be assessed in the next round, expiring on November 15. Since 2001, when the EU-subsidized Competitiveness Program was launched, a total of 3,176 proposals have been approved, with budgets totaling 140.5 million euros. For more details, contact the National Greek Tourism Organization. Credit Bank customer credit rating agency Teiresias is planning to gradually reduce the time for which certain personal data are maintained in its electronic records, said Teiresias’s chairman, Yiannis Mourgelas. This will become possible as the data bank is gradually enriched with new information on credit cards and loans which will facilitate banks’ risk management. J&P Construction firm J&P-Avax will hold a 20 percent share in a $315 million project for aircraft maintenance and office and parking facilities for Emirates Airline in Dubai airport. Offshore property Declarations by offshore companies of their property assets in Greece, which are subject to a 3 percent tax, will have to be submitted by May 20. Athens metro Athens underground railway Attiko Metro Operating Company (AMEL) reported an operating profit of 22.27 million euros in 2003, against 16.45 million in 2002. Of this sum, 21.66 million has been turned over to parent company Attiko Metro for repayment of loans. Revenue totaled 68.62 million euros, of which 85.1 percent came from sales of tickets and season cards. IKA Piraeus University professor Ioannis Vartholomaios has been officially appointed new governor of the Social Insurance Foundation (IKA). The government said it is re-establishing the position of third deputy governor because of greater administrative requirements.