Politics | July 27, 2001, Friday // 00:00

The chapter on free movement of capital was closed in another round of talks on Bulgaria`s accession to the EU on Friday. Bulgaria gets a seven-year transition period after its entry in the EU before foreigners are allowed to buy land on its territory. Two new chapters of the acquis were opened: on environmental protection and on taxation policy. On the latter, Bulgaria is seeking derogation from the fixed VAT threshold at EUR 25,000 instead of EUR 15,000 as accepted in the EU countries. The Bulgarian side sees this as a reliable instrument for boosting small and medium businesses. Bulgaria also wants a five-year transition period for the VAT rate on pharmaceutical products and equipment for handicapped people, and for the introduction of a minimum excise duty rate for alcohol, cigarettes and fuel. The European Commission requested additional information regarding these demands. After this last session of talks 11 of the 21 chapters on which Bulgaria is negotiating total have been closed. Bulgaria`s chief negotiator Vladimir Kissyov said that two more chapters-on free provision of services and on telecommunications, may be closed at the next round of negotiations in October. He kept his position as the head of the Bulgarian delegation to the talks even though he has tendered his resignation. He expressed satisfaction that Bulgaria guaranteed before its EU partners continuity with regard to European integration matters and noted the presence of Stanislav Daskalov and a special envoy of the new Foreign Minister at the talks. Stanislav Daskalov was foreign minister of Bulgaria between 1993 and 94 and was the person who held the negotiations and signed the agreement on Bulgaria`s association to the EU in 1993.

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