Bulgaria welcomes resolution of tax dispute with Greece

Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry said on August 17 that it welcomed Greece’s ratification of the new bailout agreement with the EU, which included dropping a controversial new tax threatening to strain cross-border transactions between the two neighbours.

Authorities in Sofia objected to Greek plans to levy a 26 per cent tax on all transactions carried out by Greek companies with firms in countries with “preferential tax regimes”, which was defined as countries with lower corporate tax rates than Greece. Greece’s list included three EU member states – Bulgaria, Cyprus and Ireland – and Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry had argued that the Greek tax rules breached EU’s internal market rules, including the principle of free movement of capital.

The European Commission ruled in Bulgaria’s favour on August 3, which gave Bulgaria the grounds to begin litigation in the European Court of Justice, but the Bulgarian government opted against doing so after it was given assurances that the new tax would be scrapped, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

“At the end of last week, the Greek Parliament passed the law to ratify the third bailout agreement, which included the cancellation of the provisions from Article 21 of Act 4321/2015, which satisfies the Bulgarian side,” the ministry said.

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