ECONOMY

In Brief

Tenders pave way for tourism market opening up The government plans to start tapping public tourism property assets by the end of the year through long-term leases, investments and sales by the Tourism Development Company (ETA), sources said. The plan by ETA’s president Nikos Haritakis has a two-year horizon and starts with the sale of two marinas, one in Faliron (SEF) and one in Thessaloniki, followed by 16 Xenia hotels. Next year it will include the sale of large plots of land, mainly coastal and of about 10,000 sq.m., from ETA’s sizable property holdings in order to attract foreign investment and drive country house prices down. The plan aims to promote new private investments and create new products and forms of tourism, together with large firms which have already been contacted. Car sales leap 10 pct in November November proved another upbeat month for the domestic car market as sales posted a monthly rise of 10 percent from October and a yearly rise of 23.4 percent from November 2003, according to the Association of Motor Vehicle Importers-Representatives (SEAA). In the first 11 months of the year, sales have outnumbered those of the whole of 2003. SEAA recorded a rise of 13.7 percent in the January to November period, compared to the same time last year, as 275,784 new vehicles have been sold. Toyota still leads sales with 25,655 units, an 11 percent yearly rise. Hyundai and Opel follow with 15 percent and 20.9 percent rise respectively. GDP per capita Greece’s gross domestic product per capita rose to 81 percent of the EU average in 2003 from 78 percent in 2002, according to Eurostat data published yesterday. Greece now ranks second-lowest among the old 15 members, above Portugal. Luxembourg has the highest GDP at 215 percent of the average, followed by Ireland (133 percent) and Denmark (123 percent). Latvia has the lowest (41 percent), while Cyprus was at 83 percent. Turkey’s GDP was 28 percent of the EU average. Winbank VISA Direct Piraeus Bank is adding another service to its electronic banking with the introduction of Winbank VISA Direct, allowing its customers to forward money to any e-mail address, provided both they and the recipients own a VISA or VISA Electron credit or debit card. The process is made through Winbank Internet; recipients can visit the website designated to them by e-mail and enter their card number to receive the money, unless the sender has already informed VISA of the recipient’s card number. The facility is a European first. Intracom Greek telecoms equipment maker Intracom yesterday announced in Bulgaria the signing of an agreement to modernize the country’s judicial system. The contract provides for the creation of a single online recording system for the Ministry of Justice and all courts. The 900,000-euro project will link Bulgaria’s nine judicial archives into one electronic network and data bank.