Santa Claus is broke.
Finland’s Lapland-based Santa Claus Office, which has 300,000 of visitors annually from all over the world, declared itself bankrupt last night due to an unpaid €200,000 (£143,537, $US223,980) tax bill.
Jarmo Kariniemi, managing director of the Santa Claus Office, blamed the Russians — the venue’s once most frequent customers.
Kariniemi, since Russia’s financial crisis hit, the visitors from the country sharply dropped.
“First, there were fewer tourists coming from Greece, then from Spain, Italy and Portugal, and eventually from Russia,” he told AFP.
The office employs 20 people but Kariniemi told Reuters that he thinks that the centre can be saved from closure.
“We have one more week to come up with the money. I’m confident that we can handle this,” said Kariniemi. He also told AFP that “We will take care of it. We have already collected half of the sum.”