This month we travel to the Bluegrass State of Kentucky. The nickname is based on the bluegrass found in many of its pastures due to its fertile soil.
The Red River Gorge is a canyon system on the Red River in east-central Kentucky. Geologically, it is part of the Pottsville Escarpment, a resistant sandstone belt of cliffs and steep sided, narrow crested valleys. The prevalence of sandstone allowed the Red River to cut a magnificent gorge through the mountains. It is a rock climber’s paradise and is some of the best natural areas around!
Kentucky is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world’s longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park and the longest of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States. Lush forests, mighty rivers and quaint towns blanket the landscape of the state.
The Kentucky Derby is a renowned horse race held at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May in Louisville. It is preceded by a 2-week festival and is celebrated in the Kentucky Derby Museum year-round.
It is widely known that brain drain is the worst threat to a country’s prosperity. The Greek government announced legislative initiative to reverse this phenomenon, to attract foreign investment and to invite foreign nationals to settle and work in Greece. The legislative initiatives also provide for a 50% reduction in income tax for the next 7 years, either if the job is transferred to Greece or if the interested individuals settle as self-employed or even as employees in another professional employment in Greece.
It is well known that financial motivation alone is never enough to decide upon one’s return to a country or even to move to another employer. The excellent lifestyle, the mild climate along with the working conditions (since white collar personnel can work remotely) play a vital role in such decision making. Moreover, with the crisis now behind Greece and the long-term prospects in front of the country accompanied with political stability, will eventually result in an effective state and an economy that can offer more employment opportunities. Greece is one of the safest countries in the world for the expatriate and his family.
According to a majority of the members of the European Parliament, the Netherlands is, just like Malta, Cyprus, Ireland and Luxembourg, a fiscal paradise and it is demanding (without any underlying jurisdiction, incidentally) that the European Commission place these five countries on its list of tax havens. This list is, of course, is more akin to a pillory than an honor roll.
Does the Netherlands merit being designated as a tax haven? Most inhabitants of the Netherlands would not experience this as being the case; after all, the VAT on shopping, for crying out loud, has increased by 50% this year alone, and the highest bracket in income taxation (over EUR 68,508) remains at 51.75%: a solid deduction indeed. It is true that taxation on company profits has decreased from 20 to 19%, but this latter figure is still considerably higher than in Ireland (12.5%) or Bulgaria (10%), for example. Furthermore, companies making profits higher than EUR 200,000 continue to pay 25% over this threshold.