Final EU labour restrictions lifted for Bulgarians, Romanians


Citizens of Romania and Bulgaria can now work in any EU member country. In other business news: Kosovo cancelled the sale of telecom operator PTK, and Croatia's 2013 tourism revenue is expected to be about 7 billion euros.

Before January 1st, Bulgarian and Romanian citizens were able to work without restrictions in 19 EU countries. [AFP]

Citizens of Bulgaria and Romania are able to work freely across the EU now that all Union member states dropped the last remaining labour restrictions on January 1st. Earlier, Bulgarians and Romanians were able to work without restrictions in 19 EU countries that were not applying transitional measures.


The corruption crisis in Turkey has cost the economy $100 billion, according to Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek held a teleconference with 300 foreign investors, telling them that political stability and healthy economic policies will continue.


Greece, which took over the EU's rotating presidency on January 1st, has cut the costs for the presidency down to 50 million euros. The average cost for a six-month presidency of the bloc is calculated at 100 million euros.


Kosovo cancelled the sale of state-controlled telecom operator PTK after the parliament failed to approve the deal due to the lack of a quorum. In April, an international consortium of Germany's ACP Axos Capital GmbH and US-based investor Najafi Companies offered to pay 277 million euros for a controlling stake in the company. The deadline to sign the deal expired on December 30th.


Serbia's six-year trade liberalisation process with the EU expired on January 1st. Thus, the average tariff protection regarding the import of goods from Eurozone countries will be 0.99 percent, while imports of 95.1 percent of goods subject to customs tariffs will be completely liberalised.


Romania raised the minimum guaranteed working salary in the country from 178 euros to 189 euros for a full workday. The floor wage is set to increase one more time by the end of this year to 200 euros.


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Croatia's tourism revenues for 2013 are expected to reach 7.1 billion euros, according to preliminary figures released by the Croatian National Bank, the highest since tourism brought in 7.46 billion euros in 2008.


Nasdaq OMX Group will acquire 5 percent of Turkey's Borsa Istanbul, the two stock exchanges said. The move will allow the Turkish company to use Nasdaq's market technologies to attract new clients. Borsa Istanbul is Turkey's only exchange.

(Various sources -- 01/01/14-08/01/14)

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