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BULGARIA


  
  

 

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Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 19,859 15,608 13,600 69
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 2,130 1,790 1,650 106
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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Update No: 161 - (26/10/10)

Bulgaria is a beautiful place. It has a splendid climate, a wonderful landscape and a friendly people. It was the supreme holiday home for the faithful under communism.

It is now repining under capitalism. It is becoming consequently more cost-conscious.

Municipal Keynesianism
Bulgarian municipalities are considering the possibility of introducing new forms of taxation for hotels, family-sized hotels and bed and breakfast establishments, as well as "luxury" taxes on vehicles and properties, in order to generate more revenue, Bulgarian Dnevnik daily reported on October 20, 2010.

These amendments are contemplated in the new provisions of the municipal bill, published by the Ministry of Finance on its website. The proposed provisions will be discussed in Cabinet, followed by a vote in Parliament.

The introduction of higher taxes in 2011 on luxury properties and luxury cars is supposed to be an effective measure to deal with the economic crisis and maintain a low fiscal deficit, the report says.

The proposed levies on luxury properties, whose evaluations are above the average levels for any respective urban area, town or village, would be increased by 30 per cent. The tourism tax would also be adjusted. Currently, this is calculated by gauging the price for accommodation. Municipalities, however, were unable to generate enough revenue this way, so the proposal is for the tax to be administered in accordance with the bed capacity of establishments.

The new levies were first announced in March this year after an extraordinary cabinet meeting invoked to contemplate potential anti-crisis measures.

Owners of luxury or sports vehicles, whose engines output power exceeds 200 horsepower, will also be subjected to stiffer taxation, although exact figures were not disclosed.

But most are still against the Turks
The National Assembly rejected the proposed draft resolution for a referendum on Turkey's European Union membership on October 20 2010.

The majority of members of parliament voted for the referendum to be postponed. Bulgarian right -wing nationalist political party Ataka, who are staunchly opposed to Turkey joining the EU, had posed the question "Do you agree that the Republic of Turkey should join the EU as a Member-State?"

But since the debate for Turkey's membership was not discussed, Ataka's MPs walked out in protest.

The idea for the debate was lodged on the basis of 330 000 signatures collected by another Bulgarian nationalist party, VMRO, who are without representation in Parliament but enjoy Ataka's support.

Under Bulgarian law a referendum is obligatory if backed by half a million citizens. If it has between 200,000 and half a million signatures, Parliament has to debate whether to hold a referendum and hold a vote.

Parliament speaker Tsetska Tsacheva said that the referendum should be delayed until state administration officials determine the legitimacy of the 330,000 signatures submitted by VMRO and endorsed by Ataka.

Because the referendum was postponed, Ataka representatives left the Parliament in protest. Meanwhile, the leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) Sergei Stanishev said that Bulgaria should deliver its verdict only after negotiations between the EU and Turkey have ended and Turkey has upheld all conditions and prerequisites for joining the Union.

Earlier this month, Volen Siderov, the leader of Ataka, criticised Prime Minister Boiko Borissov's support for Turkey's accession to the European Union.

"Not a single prime minister has the right to talk about this issue on behalf of the people," Siderov said in Parliament during a vote of no-confidence in the Government.

Siderov described the earlier visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Bulgaria, during which Borissov declared his support for Ankara's accession bid, as "illegal".

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vessela Tcherneva said that Bulgaria supported Turkey’s accession process provided all membership criteria were met.

This position was an expression of Bulgaria’s strategic interests, both domestic and in a wider European context. It had been the consistent policy of all Bulgarian governments so far, she said.

Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov has also insisted repeatedly that it depended on Ankara to implement the reforms necessary to make progress on issues of human rights and democracy, and to comply with EU criteria.

Mladenov had said that Bulgaria was not lobbying for Turkey, as it had not lobbied for any country, because each had to be assessed according to the progress it achieved, according to Tcherneva.


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