Tuesday

31st May 2016

City of London richest EU region

  • London host the EU's biggest financial sector (Photo: Neil Howard)

With wealth three times greater than the EU average, inner London - home to the EU's largest financial sector- is the bloc's richest region.

Luxembourg, another financial powerhouse, is second at 266 percent of the EU average GDP, followed by Brussels which also has over twice the average, according to statistics on gross domestic product per capita in the EU's 272 regions in 2011.

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The rich northern German city of Hamburg is at 202 percent of the GDP average, followed by Bratislava. The Slovak capital is the richest among former Communist regions and ahead of Paris, Stockholm and Prague.

Eurostat, which released the figures Thursday (27 February) notes that in some regions "GDP per capita figures can be significantly influenced by commuter flows," as people may live outside the city where they work.

At the other end of the scale, Bulgaria and Romania remain home to the EU's eight poorest regions, as was the case in previous years.

With only 29 percent of the EU GDP average, both the north-eastern region of Romania bordering Moldova as well as the north-western Bulgarian region of Severozapaden, bordering Serbia, are the poorest regions of all.

Among the 75 regions below 75 percent of EU GDP average, fifteen were in Poland, nine in Greece, seven in both the Czech Republic and Romania, six in Hungary, five each in Bulgaria and Italy, four each in Portugal and the United Kingdom, three in Slovakia, two each in Spain, France (both overseas departments) and Croatia, one in Slovenia, as well as in the single region member states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Finance ministers baulk at tax-avoidance rules

Member states will discuss again in June a proposed directive to outlaw practices used by large companies to avoid paying taxes. Meanwhile, the European Parliament makes progress on its probe of Panama Papers.

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