Socialist Mayors Threaten to Leave Municipalities Association Board over Funding
ESD 17:42:31 27-12-2018
113 POLITICS - SOCIALISTS - FUNDING - MUNICIPALITIES
Socialist Mayors Threaten to Leave Board
of Municipalities Association
over Non-transparent Funding
Sofia, December 27 (BTA) - Mayors affiliated with the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) have threatened to leave the Management Board of the National Association of Municipalities over non-transparent funding. They will do it unless an upcoming general meeting of the Association reviews the allocation of money to municipalities, Donka Mihailova, Mayor of the northern town of Troyan, told journalists at BSP Headquarters in Sofia Thursday.
"We are considering leaving the Management Board but we will stay in the Association," BSP Deputy Chair Kiril Dobrev specified.
Five of the 23 Board members are affiliated with the BSP.
Dobrev recalled that a December 19 decree of the Council of Ministers "broke all rules again by disbursing another 146 million leva to Bulgarian municipalities." The total amount included 98 million leva for municipalities controlled by the ruling GERB party, 25 million leva for municipalities controlled by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), 17 million leva for other municipalities and only 4 million leva for municipalities controlled by the BSP, Dobrev said.
Mihailova added that last year saw the disbursal of more than a quarter of a billion leva without any rules.
She said: "The Board called for clear procedures and criteria for allocating money from the executive budget, but a few months later we got this decree. Meeting with the Finance Minister, we asked for 110 million leva in capital subsidies for all municipalities, but our request was rejected. A month later, millions were given without any rules."
Dobrev noted that part of the money provided under such governmental decrees in 2017 and 2018 went to municipalities which had projects being investigated by prosecutors.
"We can see now that the MRF is GERB's financial partner," Dobrev stated. LN/VE