Bulgaria's gray economy is out of control
The Bulgarian economy could be 30% larger if the gray economy became formal. Bulgaria's share of such activity is among the highest in the EU, according to a European Parliament report. This means that, according to preliminary estimates for GDP, economic activity worth about BGN 55 billion last year remained outside the radar of state authorities and official statistics.
The main reasons cited for the discrepancy are inefficient institutions, corruption, weaknesses in the rule of law and complicated bureaucratic procedures.
Bulgaria tops the list of countries with the highest share of the gray economy per GDP with Croatia, Romania and Hungary also noted as transgressors.
Turkish tomatoes' export ban triggers alarm
Turkey has officially banned the export of tomatoes with President Erdogan's government citing high prices on the local market and economic stagnation after last month's catastrophic earthquake. Only Palestine, Northern Cyprus and Azerbaijan are exempt from the ban which will stay in place until April 14.
In 2022, Turkey's tomato export revenue increased by 4% compared to 2021 to 377.42 million dollars, Anadolu Agency reported at the end of January.
A total of 526,703 tons of tomatoes were exported to 54 countries. The largest export revenues derive from trade with Romania, at USD 65.23 million, followed by Ukraine at USD 45.32 million and Bulgaria at USD 38.11 million. This means that the ban will inevitably lead to higher prices for tomatoes in Bulgaria.
Nuclear sanctions' exemption sought
The caretaker government will try to request an exemption from the European Union for the imposed sanctions against Russian nuclear energy, Deputy Minister of Energy Elenko Bozhkov stated.
Bozhkov says that Bulgaria imports equipment, software and hardware from Russia for use at Kozloduy power plant and that no immediate replacements are available.