FinMin Touts Taxes Yet Again as Bulgaria's Competitive Advantage
Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov has dismissed warnings about Bulgaria's worsening international economic competitiveness vis-a-vis nations experiencing debt crisis that are therefore forced to make drastic reforms.
Djankov took part Monday in the 7th Meeting of the business sector and the government organized by the influential weekly Capital.
The Finance Minister and Deputy PM criticized a statement by renowned political scientist Ivan Krastev that the debt-stricken countries are going for reforms that might make them considerably more competitive than Bulgaria.
Djankov backed his position with a Monday's article in The Financial Times which points out that Greece will be imposing a 45% tax on income beyond EUR 26 000 annually.
"At the same time, the taxes in Bulgaria will retain their flat 10% rate, and it is even possible that some tax rates might even be reduced further in the future," he stated, apparently referring to VAT and some excise duties.
Bulgaria's Finance Minister called for crucial reforms in three key sectors – energy, healthcare, and security, with only the reform in the energy sector being able to boost Bulgaria's GDP by 2-3%, in his words.
In his address in the Q&A session, political scientist Ivan Krastev emphasized that the Bulgarian Society has a severe problem with its judiciary as well as with its media freedom, and press freedom in particular.
He noted that the problems in the Bulgarian judicial system are so severe that even if the entire society took up fixing, it would still take a very long time to restore trust in the judiciary.
Furthermore, Krastev believes that press freedom is absolutely crucial for the nation since the people who actually buy and read newspapers are said to be the top opinion-makers in the society. He also noted that the Bulgarian government is at present the biggest advertiser in the Bulgarian press, overtaking even the largest Bulgarian mobile phones operator M-Tel.