ECONOMY

In Brief

State revenues well below target, causing worry for government Public revenues grew by a disappointing 1.9 percent last month, year-on-year, against a government target of 6.5 percent. This poor record for the second month in a row is worrying the Finance Ministry, which attributes it to tax rate cuts for companies and the corruption of monitoring authorities in value-added tax revenues. Others point out that key posts in the taxation department had remained vacant for a long period. Sources suggest that the ministry’s arsenal for reversing the situation is rather limited as VAT has already risen by one percentage point and the tax deposit paid by companies has increased. Athens Medical and BC Partners decide to part ways Athens Medical Center said yesterday it had jointly decided with BC Partners for the private equity fund not to be a strategic investor in the Greek healthcare company. Last month, the company said BC Partners was eyeing a stake. «The company announces that it decided jointly with BC Partners the cancellation for the time being of BC Partners presence as a strategic investor,» Athens Medical Center said in a stock market filing. It did not elaborate. Private equity firms have in the past year acquired a number of Greek small- and mid-cap companies. Earlier this year, BC Partners acquired a controlling stake in Greek hotel and casino operator Hyatt Regency (Reuters) Golf development The Tourism Development Ministry is working on new legislation combining the development of golf courses with that of housing along the standards of countries with a tradition in the sport, Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia announced. The ministry and the Municipality of Hersonissos in Crete will also draft a plan to upgrade this tourist-saturated resort in the prefecture of Iraklion. It will be a pilot project for other saturated resorts in Greece. S&P warning Public spending on pensions, health and unemployment benefits will rise to 32.4 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050, from 18.9 percent in 2005, warned a special report by Standard & Poor’s on the effects of the aging of the population in 32 countries. It also expects the public debt to swell from 103 percent to 450 percent of GDP by 2050, unless drastic measures are taken. Accor French hotels group Accor SA said yesterday it would invest 300 million euros ($388 million) in fast-growing Turkey to build 50 hotels by 2015. «Of the 50 hotels, 12 will be completed by 2009 and we are working with Turkey’s leading Akfen Group as strategic partners,» said Accor Turkey spokesman Koray Ozbay. (Reuters) Construction Construction activity, measured by the number of new building permits, rose 16.0 percent year-on-year in March, the National Statistics Service said yesterday. (Reuters)