ECONOMY

In Brief

Gov’t wants to attract more offshore firms The government is considering expanding incentives for the establishment of offshore commercial and industrial enterprises in Greece with a view to boosting currency inflows and employment. Well-informed sources say a draft bill amending Law 89 of 1967, which grants tax breaks and other incentives to such enterprises operating outside Greece, and which expires at the end of the year, will soon be submitted to Parliament. It is argued that the previous PASOK government, with Law 2992/2002, envisaged the abolition of incentives for the establishment of offshore companies as of December 31, 2005, and annulled many of the facilities granted to them until then. This reduced related foreign currency inflows to a trickle. According to 2003 data, there were 280 offshore companies based in Greece, employing about 2,700 staff. Sioufas helps ease PPC crisis but tensions remain Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas yesterday tried to diffuse tensions between board members of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) and its president Yiannis Palaiokrassas by expressing his full confidence for all. The statement came a day after a stormy board meeting where members approved five senior appointments despite Palaiokrassas’s request that it be postponed for further discussion of one of the five appointees. Sources said his disagreement concerned the reappointment of chief financial officer Grigoris Anastasiadis, 57, who will serve for five more years. There are rumors that ministers wish to see Palaiokrassas resign Bulgarian cheese Seventy-five of Bulgarian cheese exports come to Greece, although most of them are not ready for marketing but only in the form of raw material for the end product, according to the Greek Embassy in Sofia. In 2004 some 66 percent of cheese imports from Bulgaria, i.e. 2,673 tons, were raw material for cheese production, rising more than eight times since 2002. The rest is «mainly white sheep cheese of low cost and quality, imported primarily to Northern Greece regions, that has doubled in the last three years,» the embassy report suggests. The total value of cheese imports came to 11.5 million euros last year, from just 33,000 euros in 2000. Alpha in Bulgaria. Alpha Bank expanded its network further in Bulgaria by opening its eighth branch yesterday at Liulin, in the northwest part of Sofia. «We are proceeding at a fast pace,» the bank’s general director in Bulgaria, Yiannis Iordanidis stated, adding that in end-September a new branch will open in the east of the city, while by the end of 2007 Alpha Bank’s network in Bulgaria will number 40 to 50 branches. Hyundai recalls Hyundai Hellas is recalling two different car models for checks and possible repairs. They are 109 Sonata-NF vehicles whose Electronic Stability Program may require reprogramming, and 25 Tuscon-JM vehicles with possible handbrake problems.