Lithuania: Changes in VAT upcoming

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has announced reduced rates of VAT. (CC By SA Saeima)

Friendship Treaty signed between Macedonia and Bulgaria

Bratislava’s taxi drivers strike again

Lithuania

Lithuanian government plans to introduce new VAT reduced rates. As the Baltic Course reports, the new tariffs will possibly be 5 per cent and 15 per cent. The specification of the goods and services the tariffs will apply to was not revealed. As reported, the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union party tries to liaise with the opposition on the question of taxes. Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has announced that his government would also like to bring back the standard rate to 18 per cent, adding this will be discussed next year.

Current VAT rates in Lithuania are: 21 per cent (standard rate), 9 per cent and 5 per cent (both reduced rates).

As of January 2017, VAT rates in the CSE countries were:

  • Bulgaria – standard rate 20 per cent, reduced rate 9 per cent;
  • Czech Republic – standard rate 21 per cent, reduced rates 15 per cent and 10 per cent;
  • Estonia – standard rate 20 per cent, reduced rate 9 per cent;
  • Croatia – standard rate 25 per cent, reduced rates 13 per cent and 5 per cent;
  • Latvia – standard rate 21 per cent, reduced rate 12 per cent;
  • Hungary – standard rate 21 per cent, reduced rates 27 per cent, 18 per cent and 5 per cent;
  • Poland – standard rate 23 per cent, reduced rates 8 per cent and 5 per cent;
  • Romania – standard rate 19 per cent, reduced rates 9 per cent and 5 per cent;
  • Slovenia – standard rate 22 per cent, reduced rate 9.5 per cent.

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Macedonia and Bulgaria

Bulgaria signed with the neighboring Macedonia a “landmark friendship treaty” aiming to develop their relationship into a close EU-oriented partnership. The document called the Good Neighbourly Relation Agreement was signed by Prime Ministers Zoran Zaev (Macedonia) and Boyko Borrisov (Bulgaria). Among the goals of the treaty are:

  • improving trade and transport infrastructure between the countries (expanding transport links, communications);
  • easing of customs and border formalities;
  • facilitating contacts between citizens of the countries.

Macedonian PM commented: “The treaty is a historic step forward for Macedonia and Bulgaria that shows that the past can be a basis for future cooperation.” The agreement is now subject to ratification by the parliaments of the two countries.

Current top export destinations of Macedonia are Germany and Serbia. Bulgaria is the 3rd (worth USD285m). Imports from Bulgaria are at a very low level (the top exporters for Macedonia are Germany, the United Kingdom, Serbia, Greece and China). At the same time Bulgaria exports to Germany, Italy, Turkey Romania and Greece and imports from Germany, Russia, Italy, Romania and Turkey.

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Slovakia

Slovak Spectator reports that Bratislava taxi drivers hit the streets to show their frustration at city authorities’ failure in dealing with the passengers’ transportation. The licensed taxi drivers demand equal business conditions for them and for the alternative ride services like Uber.

The Civil Association of Licensed Taxi Drivers claims the city hall had two years to introduce measures to meet taxi drivers’ expectations. Unfortunately, the authorities of Bratislava totally missed the point. Slovak Spectator quotes the chairman of the Civil Association of Licensed Taxi Drivers Matej Krampl saying: “Now taxi drivers are ready to fight until the situation improves to their benefit.”

At the same time Uber spokesperson for Slovakia and the Czech Republic Miroslava Jozová responds: “Our goal is to keep cities moving and to connect passengers looking for safe, reliable and affordable transport with drivers who can share their car and time”.

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What’s up in indexes

BET (of Bucharest) increased from 8,300.46 index points Monday, July 31st to 8,285.16 index points Tuesday, August 1st. It’s up 0.10 per cent d/d and up 22.97 per cent y/y.

BUX (of Budapest) increased from 35,801.00 index points Monday, July 31st to 35,786.52 index points Tuesday, August 1st. It’s up 0.05 per cent d/d and up 30.28 per cent y/y.

CROBEX (of Zagreb) increased from 1,885.31 index points Monday, July 31st to 1,889.97 index points Tuesday, August 1st. It’s up 0.25 per cent and up 7.18 per cent y/y.

OMXR (of Riga) increased from 990.43 index points Monday, July 31st to 994.70 index points Tuesday, August 1st. It’s up 0.48 per cent d/d and up 55.83 per cent y/y.

OMXT (of Tallinn) increased from 1,231.42 index points Monday, July 31st to 1,238.83 index points Tuesday, August 1st. It’s up 0.60 per cent d/d and up 22.28 per cent y/y.

OMXV (of Vilnius) increased from 625.77 index points Monday, July 31st to 628.86 index points Tuesday, August 1st. It’s up 0.49 per cent d/d and up 15.78 per cent y/y.

PX (of Prague) increased from 1,009.04 index points Monday, July 31st to 1,014.95 index points Tuesday, August 1st. It’s up 0.59 per cent d/d and up 15.32 per cent y/y.

SAX (of Bratislava) increased from 335.23 index points Monday, July 31st to 336.00 index points Tuesday, August 1st. It’s up 0.23 per cent d/d and up 7.82 per cent y/y.

SOFIX (of Sofia) decreased from 715.21 index points Monday, July 31st to 713.30 index points Tuesday, August 1st. It’s down 0.27 per cent d/d and up 55.78 per cent y/y.

UX (of Kyiv) increased from 1,118.56 index points Monday, July 31st to 1,135.23 index points Tuesday, August 1st. It’s up 1.49 per cent d/d and up 59.59 per cent y/y.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) increased from 2,374.17 index points Monday, July 31st to 2,386.40 index points Tuesday, August 1st. It’s up 0.52 per cent d/d and up 35.43 per cent y/y.