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Philip Morris: Bulgaria Needs Basic Excise for Cigarettes

Date: 25.05.2009

The leading tobacco company, Philip Morris, suggested that Bulgaria introduce minimal excise duty for cigarettes.

The Issue was discussed Tuesday by Bulgaria's Deputy Finance Minister, Kiril Zhelev, and Director of Corporate Affairs in Philip Morris for Bulgaria and Romania, Peter Imre.

By introducing minimal excise, Bulgaria will be able to provide certain tax collection, Imre explained.

In his words, Bulgaria is the only EU state where there is a huge difference between prices of cheapest and most expensive cigarettes. The minimal excise duty will lower that difference.

Currently, higher excise causes cigarettes prices to grow, which does not make people smoke, but just to switch to cheaper brands, Peter Imre said. By limiting price competition, it will be easier to lower the number of smoker.

Imre refused that the topic of privatization of Bulgaria's Bulgartabac was a part of the discussion. He also refused to comment on a future interest of Philip Morris towards the Bulgarian company.

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