Mayor Boutaris: 6000 Thessaloniki-Based Firms Moved to Bulgaria

Business | September 20, 2012, Thursday // 16:55|  views

According to Yiannis Boutaris, Thessaloniki Mayor, around 6000 companies based in or around the city have moved operations to Bulgaria. Photo by

Yiannis Boutaris, Thessaloniki Mayor, has announced that around 6000 companies based in or around the city have moved operations to Bulgaria.

Boutaris, who is on a visit to Bulgaria, told journalists Thursday that the reasons behind the migration of businesses were the lower taxes and the lower wages paid by employers.

He suggested that the next step was to achieve good cooperation between Bulgarians and Greeks, which he defined as very important, adding that the two countries boasted a long history of relations including a high number of transnational marriages.

The Thessaloniki Mayor admitted that the crisis had dealt a heavy blow to the city, taking its toll on both common citizens and the municipal budget.

Boutaris, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), informed that the unemployment rate in Greece, including in Thessaloniki, was 25% reaching up to 40% among youths.

The Mayor of Thessaloniki made clear that the state subsidy for the municipality had been reduced by over 50% and its expenses slashed by 30%.

He pointed out, however, that the harsh conditions had evoked a touching solidarity among people, including  soup kitchens, clothing exchange markets, and restaurants serving free meals to the poor at certain hours of the day.

Boutaris told journalists that the number of tourists had not declined, Bulgarian tourists remained quite many, and visitors from Israel and Turkey had grown substantially,

He presented a number of upcoming festivals in Thessaloniki, including film and animated film festivals, electronic music festivals, and the WOMEX expo.

Boutaris said that Greece would celebrate the 1150th Jubilee Year of Cyril and Methodius in 2013 and would count on Bulgaria's cooperation for organizing the festivities.

The Mayor of Thessaloniki, who is a major wine producer in the country, added that Greece was also considering including Bulgarian wine roads in the network of wine roads in northern Greece.

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Tags: Thessaloniki, economic crisis, Greek crisis, Cyril and Methodius, Bulgarian wine, low taxes


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