ECONOMY

In Brief

Revenues recovering at last; VAT statements made mandatory After many months of stagnation, public revenues from value-added tax (VAT) seem to be recovering. The increase in September was 4.52 percent and the provisional October figure is 9.3 percent, year on year. Separately, the Finance Ministry is introducing an amendment reinstating from January 1 the mandatory submission of periodic VAT declarations, irrespective of whether the balance is positive or zero for the firm or self-employed individual. In the last two years, periodic VAT statements have been mandatory only for debit balances. The change was deemed necessary – and urged by a team of International Monetary Fund experts – so that tax authorities can have a fuller picture of the financial data of businesses for the entire year. Businesses in a state of suspended activity will not have to submit such statements. Small EU newcomers head the line for eurozone entry BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia meet a requirement to join the eurozone in 2007 and could be followed a year later by Cyprus and Malta, European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said yesterday. «Currently three member states meet the time requirement of belonging to the ERM-2 currency exchange mechanism. They are Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia,» Almunia said in notes for a speech to European Parliament lawmakers. «Cyprus and Malta are placed to join the eurozone in 2008,» he said. S&B Minerals group S&B reported a 21.7 percent rise in nine-month pretax profit to 27.4 million euros yesterday, boosted by robust growth in its main mining activity. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization increased by 19.2 percent to 49.4 million euros, while sales grew 15.7 percent to 321.4 million. S&B said its mining division, which accounts for 80 percent of group sales, posted a 23 percent rise in sales to 254.4 million euros, with EBITDA up 26.7 percent to 43.9 million euros. Separately, Titan cement group said turnover for the nine months was 995 million euros, up 16 percent year on year. Operating EBITDA grew by 14 percent to 285 million euros and net profit after minority interests and taxes 156 million euros, up also by 14 percent. (Reuters) Negligence costs Greece’s Supreme Court has ruled that banks must return to account holders all the money that clerks, by gross negligence and without full identification, have given to impostors. A bank was therefore forced to return 22,010.27 euros to an account holder who lost this amount when someone else forged her signature. Greek art auction Sotheby’s of London will host its second auction of a selection of Greek paintings and sculptures this year on December 12, after the success of the first on November 12. The auction will feature artwork ranging from 800 to 60,000 pounds sterling from artists such as Alekos Fassianos, Nikos Kessanlis and Paris Prekas.