Socialists Urge for Update of National Health Insurance Fund Budget, State Budget
Sofia, February 20 (BTA) - The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) insist that Parliament updates the budget of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the State budget, BSP Chair Kornelia Ninova told a news conference here on Tuesday after a meeting of the party's Executive Bureau. "If this does not happen, President [Rumen] Radev will be proved right as saying that that the parliamentary republic is degenerating and that decisions [in the State] are taken single-handedly," she added.
Ninova said that the Executive Bureau will propose to the BSP for Bulgaria Parliamentary Group to oppose the ouster of Kamen Plochev as NHIF Director if it is put to a plenary vote. "Plochev has not done anything unlawful, he asked Parliament to update the budget, and the powerholders accuse him of doing it in February," she pointed out. "If that person is asked to resign because he asked for an update in February, then the Prime Minister himself should long have resigned," the Socialist leader commented. She noted that the PM spent nearly 200 million leva off budget "in order to buy himself comfort". "Plochev lawfully requests a budget update because he is concerned about people's health. Borissov unlawfully spent the same amount in January to soothe discontent and buy himself some comfort," she argued.
Her comments come in the wake of a row next week in which Health Minister Kiril Ananiev demanded Plochev's resignation after the latter asked the National Assembly to increase the NHIF budget by 140 million leva over the head of the Fund's Supervisory Board. The money was needed to pay 271 million leva that the NHIF owed in early 2018 for treatment of Bulgarian citizens in the EU, of which 207 million leva were overdue. Plochev has denied any wrongdoing that would warrant his departure. This week the parliamentary Healthcare Committee is due to discuss the matter, after which the MPs will decide if he will keep his job.