ECONOMY

In Brief

More tax breaks for private insurance accounts from 2007 Greece will offer additional tax breaks to individuals buying private insurance from 2007 in a bid to deal with the country’s social security problem, Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said yesterday. The government has already started discussions with unions and agencies on social security reforms. Outlays by individuals for private pension insurance is currently exempt from taxable income. «There will be additional tax breaks for individuals buying private insurance and this will come into effect as part of tax reforms from 2007,» Alogoskoufis told an industry conference. «Private insurance must and can contribute to defusing the social security time bomb,» said Alogoskoufis, adding any changes to the system will take place after the end of the government’s four-year term. (Reuters) Deadline for 2005 results extended by one month The Capital Market Commission (CMC) said yesterday it would extend the Feb. 28 deadline for 2005 full-year financial reporting to new international accounting standards (IFRS) by one month. «The extension was granted after an application by the Union of Listed Companies… taking into account that this is the first implementation of IFRS for annual 2005 results,» CMC said in a statement. Listed companies will have until March 31 to publish last year’s results under IFRS. (Reuters) Property taxes The government is about to announce a 20 percent lifting of the tax-free ceiling on large real estate, ahead of the start of submissions of property declarations on March 3, sources said. This will bring it to 292,300 euros for single people and to 584,650 euros for married couples, with increments of 61,500 euros for each of two adolescent children. The new ceilings will apply to the official rates, which went up by an average of 30 percent on January 1. Turkish C/A deficit Turkey’s current account deficit amounted to $22.852 billion in 2005, central bank data showed yesterday, exceeding the average forecast in a Reuters poll of $22.000 billion. The central bank also said the current account deficit totalled $3.568 billion in December alone, above a poll forecast of $3.1 billion. (Reuters) Tobacco privatization Turkey could launch a fresh tender this year to sell state tobacco firm Tekel after previous bids failed to attract enough interest, the head of the Privatization Administration (OIB) told Reuters.