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10 July, 2002
Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis on Tuesday unveiled a draft bill on accounting standards and auditing inspections, part of a wider strategy plan aimed to reform the country's tax system, improve company inspections and attract foreign investments.
Christodoulakis said that the ministry was promoting a series of draft bills covering income and real estate taxation, while a draft bill on adopting international accounting standards and reforming corporate governance was expected to be put into force by January 1, 2003.
A ministry committee is expected to submit a draft bill on coding of capital market legislation this week, with the committee working on two other draft bills, covering the state's golden share in privatized companies and the operation of offshore companies in Greece.
Mr. Christodoulakis said the ministry was cooperating with the Union of Greek Banks on drafting a bill on attracting foreign investments in the country.
''We have begun an effort of restructuring the operation of companies, ensuring transparency and establishing a climate of confidence between investors and businessmen,'' he noted.
Christodoulakis emphasized that with the new draft bill the Greek government was separating the role of consultant with the role of an auditor in a company. ''The two roles cannot coincide because they offer motives for improper recording of accounting figures,'' Christodoulakis stressed.
Under the new draft bill, the government will set up a committee of accounting standardization and inspections (ELTE) with the aim to improve transparency in corporate management and ensuring the quality of accounting inspections.
ELTE will function under the supervision of Economy and Finance Minister and will include representatives from the Bank of Greece, the Capital Market Committee and employers union.
Christodoulakis said that the ministry, the central bank and international organizations were cooperating closely in an effort to combat money laundering and the use of this money in illegal or terrorist activities.
Source: Athens News Agency