ECONOMY

In Brief

Names of tax evaders and overchargers made public The Finance Ministry published a list of 66 firms and self-employed professionals accused of tax evasion and overcharging. It includes eight surgeons and one lawyer found not to have issued receipts and to have claimed non-existent expenses, eight construction companies charged with issuing bogus receipts, four greengrocers which overcharged, and 36 private schools and kindergartens which exceeded the 4-percent ceiling in tuition fee increases this year. Also, the owners of two offshore companies based in Liberia had been found to be evading taxes. The violators will be required to pay fines equaling 7 percent of their turnover last year. Deputy Finance Minister Apostolos Fotiadis said checks will continue and more lists will follow. Listed firms call for easing of IAS and corporate governance requirements The Finance Ministry has provided no clarification to listed companies regarding International Accounting Standards (IAS) which they must adopt by 2003, nor has it started the related seminars this month as promised, resulting in uncertainty and confusion, the Association of Listed Companies (SEISET) said. SEISET has proposed the optional application of IAS as of 2003 and making it compulsory a year later. In a letter to the Finance Ministry, it also called for an informal extension until June of the deadline for listed firms to elect new board members according to corporate governance rules. The deadline expires in November. SEISET argues that if it stands strictly, 340 listed firms will have to hold extraordinary general meetings in order to change one or two board members. Air transport International Air Transport Association officials told an Athens conference that the industry is showing signs of a recovery after the slump caused by the September 11 attacks and that a growth figure of 6-7 percent in passenger traffic is projected for 2003. The European Commission said state guarantees to cover airlines for terror and war risk, implemented after September 11, should end by October 31. Small firms Parliament began discussion of a draft bill providing for the creation of a surety fund to assist small and very small businesses in obtaining bank loans. The fund, which will meet 40-70 percent of the guarantees required by banks, will have a start-up capital of 100 million euros of government and EU funds designed to boost competitiveness. Opposition deputies said the agency would benefit only a very small number of firms as banks would continue to apply the same criteria. Kosmima The 17th international exhibition for jewelry, watches, precious stones and equipment, «Kosmima,» will be held in Thessaloniki’s fair grounds November 8-11. The event is open only to traders, importers and their representatives. For further information, contact Anna Petikaki at tel 0310.291.154, e-mail: [email protected] Art exhibit US Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Alan Greenspan and Bank of Greece Governor Nikos Garganas will attend the official opening of the exhibition of 39 works of prominent Greek painters from the period 1830-1930 at Fed headquarters in Washington on October 3. The event will run until December 3.