Bulgaria boosts spirits by cutting brandy price

Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:55am EST
 
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SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria's government is seeking to boost spirits in the recession-hit Balkan country by cutting the price of its favorite brandy.

The cabinet said on Wednesday it will apply to register grape rakia -- a potent fruit liquor considered the national drink -- as a traditional product in the European Union which will allow it to cut excise duties.

If the bid is successful the price of a bottle of rakia, now an average 8 levs ($5.61), will drop by 2-3 levs, Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naidenov said.

"We know this won't be happen easily," national Darik radio quoted Naidenov as saying. "It will probably be a procedure that will take months, perhaps a year, but if this happens, excise duties on rakia will be cut in half."

In 2009, villagers in the EU's poorest country named their home-made brandy "Borisovka," playing on the name of Prime Minister Boiko Borisov to thank him for stopping parliament from raising taxes on alcohol.

"In rakia veritas," quipped Naidenov, who admitted he is a brandy aficionado himself.

(Reporting by Irina Ivanova, editing by Paul Casciato)