"Experts": Serbia Should Follow Bulgaria Prostitution, Sex Tourism ModelBusiness | August 14, 2009, Friday // 14:15| views
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Serbian "experts" believe that Serbia should follow Bulgaria's model of handling the prostitution and sex tourism industries in order to raise state revenue.
According to publications in the Serbian media quoted by the BGNES news agency, the cited "experts" estimated that the country's state budget could raise additional revenue of over EUR 500 M from changes in its approach to prostitution.
They believe that the additional benefits of finding a way to legalize the prostitution would also boost the local economy and turn Serbia into a country with "regulated sex tourism".The prostitutes in Serbia are believed to be about 40 000.
The Chair of the Association of Night Clubs, Slavoljup Veljkovic, is quoted as saying that the prostitution industry in Serbia commanded enormous sums of money, pointing out that one prostitute could "serve" about ten men per night, and that the prostitutes did not have vacations and days off.
Veljkovic is quoted as calling for adopting the Bulgarian experience where "each year officially the Bulgarian prostitutes makes at least EUR 1,8 B, which is 7,2% of the country's GDP". According to his calculations, the Serbian prostitutes were no worse, and could make at least EUR 1,5 B per year.
Economist Goran Nikolic is quoted as saying that a large amount of money would be raised by the state if prostitution was legalized, pointing out that this sort of industry existed anyway.
He believes that foreigners associated Serbia with pretty women in general, and that they would feel better if they could be with Serbian prostitutes in a legal way, and to know that they were protected by the law. This sort of regulated sex tourism, in his words, is also going to bring down the prices because there would be no intermediaries for the service.
Contrary to what the Serbian experts imply, Bulgaria has no legal texts legalizing the prostitution in any way. The publication most likely refers to the existence of escort - or "companion" - services in Bulgaria, many of which are reported to serve as a cover for prostitution services. Those clubs or firms are registered as commercial entertainment companies and they indeed pay the respective corporate taxes.
However, their legal documents have no mention of "prostitution" as "subject of activity" precisely because the prostitution is illegal, according to Bulgarian legislation.
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