Global Times: Thousands of Greek Businesses Flee to Bulgaria
More than 15,000 Greeks have registered new companies in Bulgaria's tax offices in the first quarter of 2016, the Global Times, a Chinese business edition, has said.
It quotes data from the Greek Embassy in Sofia and a report published by Greek daily Vima ("Tribune").
On average, a dozen accounts opened in Bulgaria on a daily basis, the Chinese Times says, citing Vima.
As many as 13 500 companies were registered in Bulgaria in 2015, while in 2013 it was only 9000, according to embassy data.
However, in an interview with Novinite earlier this year, Greece's former ambassador said as many as 2000 Greek companies had moved to Bulgaria in 2015, resulting in a total number of 14 400.
"Despite warnings from the Greek Finance Ministry that tax evaders will face strict penalties should audits reveal inaccuracies, several small and medium-sized Greek enterprises have turned to the neighboring country to avoid the "tax avalanche" of recent years in Greece, representatives of the Greek market said," according to the Global Times.
Tax on corporate profits in Greece stands at 29 percent, while in Bulgaria it is 10 percent.
"After the latest round of pension reforms and taxation changes introduced this year, self-employed Greeks are allegedly currently asked to pay up to 80 percent of their monthly reported income for taxes and increased contributions to social security funds, according to their unions and accountants."
Last week, the head of a fund for self-employed professionals, came under fire in Greece last week for his comment about paying social security contributions in Bulgaria.
The Global Times' report is available here.
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