Bulgaria Finance Minister Speaks of European Aspirations

Domestic | January 23, 2010, Saturday // 19:32|  views

Bulgaria Deputy PM and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov addressed students at the American University in Blagoevgrad on the current situation of Bulgaria. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov has addressed students from American University in Blagoevgrad, giving them a general picture of the situation of Bulgaria.

"Bulgaria joined the EU a little early, before we were ready. There were huge expectations that everything was prepared for us, and that we would very quickly become richer, that we would reach EU levels of economy and finance," he said, referring to the country's accession to the EU in 2007.

Speaking in English, Djankov stated: "We are a European government and therefore our efforts are directed towards stopping Bulgaria from being in the strange position of both being in the EU, and at the same time not getting quite as much from them."

In his speech, the Minister said that he would not dismantle the currency board, because it was a good, effective institution.

"The Board will definitely continue to exist until Bulgaria enters the euro zone," he said.

On the topic of taxation, he explained that with a VAT rate between 16% and 18%, Bulgaria would have the lowest tax and the highest fiscal discipline in Europe.

"The problem now is in payment of taxes, and not the tax system itself," he remarked.

He expressed his firm opinion that education reforms should be carried out within the next five months.

"So far, Bulgaria could not hold on its young people. But now we see that things are changing, and those abroad will see it too. This should encourage them to return," the minister concluded.  

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Tags: Simeon Djankov, Bulgaria, EU, education reform, tax, VAT, EU accession, American University in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad


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