In Brief

Gov’t mulls flat 25 pct income tax rate The government is studying a plan for a flat 25 percent rate on all personal incomes as of 2010, sources said. The measure, which was initially to have been applied to 2009 incomes but has proved technically difficult, will be accompanied by the abolition of tax exemptions or the taxing of certain incomes at special rates. The package is said also to include changes in the taxation of real estate, with a view to its simplification. At present, incomes of salary earners and pensioners above 13,000 euros annually are taxed at 30 percent, and above 23,000 euros at 40 percent. The types of incomes which will no longer enjoy exemptions or special rates include bonuses for hazardous work, special bonuses for members of national sports teams, the remuneration of soccer and basketball players and some bonuses paid to local government officials. PPC chief hints at rates and jobs Public Power Corporation’s CEO Panagiotis Athanasopoulos yesterday hinted at the need for indexing electricity rates to oil price rises, and for the corporation’s senior executives to have a similar employment status as their counterparts in the private sector. His comments were interpreted as targeting the permanent employment status still enjoyed by PPC employees. Speaking at the annual general meeting, Athanasopoulos also said PPC is considering the sale of its telephony arm, Tellas, possibly to its partner, Egyptian-born magnate Naguib Sawiris, who said recently he had made a bid for full control of Tellas. Trade deficit up The Greek trade deficit widened to 9.6 billion euros in the first quarter of 2007, up 1.4 billion euros year-on-year, Eurostat said yesterday. Greek exports in the same period stood at -4.4 billion while imports totaled -14 billion, raising the trade deficit from -8.2 billion to -9.6 billion. Greek exports rose 15 percent and imports were up 17 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2006. Cyprus GMO action Cyprus has adopted legislation forcing retailers to put products with genetically modified (GMO) content on separate displays, the island’s Green Party said yesterday. In what is a first for an EU member state, retailers will be obliged to put foodstuffs with a GMO content of more than 0.9 percent on separate shelves. (Reuters) Croat telecom IPO The Croatian government approved yesterday the sale of between 20 and 23 percent in national telecom operator T-HT, majority-owned by Deutsche Telekom and due to be listed in the autumn. The shares will be listed in Zagreb and in London, most probably in September, Deputy Prime Minister Damir Polancec said after a cabinet meeting. (Reuters) Turk jobless Turkey’s unemployment rate, measured on a three-month average, was 10.4 percent in the February to April period, down from 11.4 percent in January to March, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK) said yesterday. (Reuters)

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