Bulgaria’s Economy: Progress for those who Need it Less

Written by on September 17, 2016 in Bulgaria, Business, Economy - No comments

Bulgaria might be celebrating a record turnaround in the tourist business this year. The numbers are too close to call, as of now.

But there is more good news for the Bulgarian economy: Multivac, a huge packaging company from Germany, started building their factory in the industrial zone Boshurishte yesterday. The investment will have a pretty big price tag for Multivac: 35 million Euro. Some jobs will be created here.

The packaging giant chose Bulgaria, rather than Romania, an option which was on the table too, because of the low interest rates, the low taxes and high subsidies from the state.

This is a rather large investment, but it seems small in comparison. Last year, the Danish furniture giant decided to invest 100 million Euro in Bulgaria.

Just as we may have thought this was enough good news, data on salaries were released. According to Eurostat, this country had the third-highest increase in wages. Salaries in Bulgaria are supposed to have grown 7.3% in the third quarter of 2016, compared to the same quarter of last year. Romania is even better, with an increase by 12%, while in all of the E.U., the growth regarding salaries was only 0.9%.

But, how many sides does a coin have? Right. There is a downside. The great economic data do not seem to eradicate the extreme poverty in this country. The poverty line in Bulgaria is officially set at a monthly income of 164 Euro, which is scandalous. It should be substantially higher.

But, according to that value, which is supposed to make things look bright and shiny, they still don’t. That is because, even according to this scandalous scale, 22 percent of all Bulgarians lived in poverty in 2015. The National Statistics Institute provided these numbers. The percentage of what they call poor citizens grew by 0.2 percent.

If they set the poverty line to 2 Leva per month, nobody will be poor anymore. If the country is supposed to be convinced everything is fine, why not go all the way?

By Imanuel Marcus

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