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Bulgaria's finance head presses for upped tourism tax

Date: 30.04.2006

Plants to almost triple value added tax (VAT) for Bulgaria's tourism sector were defended by the finance minister.

Plamen Oresharski said in an interview that tourism's 7% should be levelled with the 20% VAT levied on all other sectors.

The increase would not be introduced at once, the ministers said, revealing that a scheme for gradual rise has been drawn already.

There have been talks that the VAT hike would harm Bulgaria's tourism business, but supporters of the measure say all sectors should be equal before the law.

In his interview, Oresharski also disclosed that his ministry was already working on the 2007 draft budget. It will be submitted in Parliament by the end of October, it emerged.

Talking about the nearing EU accession of Bulgaria, Oresharski warned that at first the country could spend more than the funds it would absorb.

With some EUR 300 M membership dues, Bulgaria hopes to absorb EUR 1 B.

But a number of fresh EU members have had major difficulties in the absorption of accession funds, the minister pointed out.

Bulgaria hopes to enter the bloc on January 1 next year, together with neighbour Romania.

Darik radio

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