ECONOMY

In Brief

Attica Holdings orders two new ferries Attica Holdings SA, Greece’s biggest ferry operator, ordered two new passenger and vehicle ferries from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co Ltd, according to an Athens bourse filing. An agreement will be signed on Thursday, the filing said. No financial details were provided. (Bloomberg) Bulgaria to check on Bentley car owners SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria will check 105 owners of luxury Bentley cars for possible tax evasion and other fraud as part of efforts to curb rampant corruption, the national revenue agency said yesterday. The European Union newcomer is under growing pressure from Brussels to tame chronic corruption and powerful organized crime. Failing to show results could lead to more sanctions after Brussels cut Bulgaria’s access last year to millions in EU aid. The revenue agency statement said it will investigate the sources of income of the Bentley owners and appoint audits if checks proved there were discrepancies between declared incomes and the actual assets held. The statement made no reference to whether the owners of other upmarket cars would be investigated. «It turned out Bulgaria is one of the countries in Europe where the number of registered Bentleys is… very high,» said Rossen Bachvarov, the agency spokesman. «There is nothing wrong if one has a Bentley as long as they have paid their taxes.» Arms deal Moscow and Athens are close to a deal on the sale of 1,000 Russian-made armored vehicles to Greece, a Russian government official was quoted as saying yesterday. «The final stage of talks with Greece on the delivery of 1,000 BMP-3s is now under way,» Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, told the RIA-Novosti news agency. Last October, the two countries were reported to be in talks on the sale of just 420 of the vehicles, which resemble light tanks. Dzirkaln said Greece was interested in both the dry-land and amphibious versions of the BMP-3 and described the negotiations as «fairly difficult.» Locked in a territorial rivalry with fellow NATO-member Turkey, Greece is a heavy spender on defense and a regular client of the US, European and Russian arms industries. (AFP) Solar power European governments should encourage a «paradigm shift» in solar power by offering financial support to new installations via feed-in tariffs, according to a report by management consultants A.T. Kearney. A system of preferential rates for energy created directly from the sun’s light, such as exists in Germany and Spain, will help the European Union meet a 2020 target for renewable energy, the report commissioned by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association said today. The 27-nation bloc said in December it aims to raise the overall share of energy from renewable sources, including wind and solar power, to an average 20 percent by 2020 from 8.5 percent. The 20 percent average goal is based on varying general renewable-energy targets for individual member states. (Bloomberg)