Podkrepa Labour Confederation Holds 10th Congress
February 8 (BTA) - The Podkrepa Confederation of Labour
Friday held its 10th Congress. Among the speakers at the event
were President Rumen Radev, Podkrepa President Dimiter Manolov,
and Podkrepa Honorary President Konstantin Trenchev.
The head of State said that for 30 years the Podkrepa
Confederation of Labour has constantly defended the social and
labour rights of working Bulgarians, and today it is an
important and valuable partner in the social dialogue.
In his words, Bulgaria, Europe and the world are changing ever
more dynamically, and globalism and the neoliberal model are
giving way to economic patriotism, but workers' rights need
protection in any economic model. "The last century gave birth
to the social State, and today we gradually say goodbye to its
achievements. That is why the main challenge we face is to
rediscover the power of the joint, solidary action so that we
can uphold human rights," Radev argued. Dialogue is at the basis
on syndicalism, and the latter is the key to success, he added,
and called on Podkrepa to build an ever more just and social
Manolov said that the EU is experiencing big problems and finds
itself in a trap that it can hardly escape from because the
problem has to be solved by those who created it. The principles
of united and social Europe have been neglected in the last
years, he added.
He also said that in the upcoming European Parliament elections
Podkrepa might have a candidate of its own, and it will hardly
support a particular party.
According to Manolov, Bulgaria's main problems are the energy
sector, education and the relations between labour and capital.
The Bulgarian energy sector is at risk of being destroyed, he
said, referring to coal mining and procession. "We will defend
the Maritsa East complex until it can function, because it
produces 100 per cent Bulgarian energy," he underscored.
The education system has to be changed, because the 'money
follows the pupil' principle is showing its disastrous impact,
Podkrepa will resist in any way to the ineffective forms of
employment, such as zero-hour contracts, he also said. A balance
between labour and capital needs to be introduced, he added.
Trenchev said that the demographic problem and the emigration
caused by it, as well as people's low social status are
Bulgarians' main problems. The birth rate continues to fall, and
Bulgaria's mortality rate is the same as Afghanistan's, where a
war is raging, he noted. According to various sources, each
year between 30,000 and 50,000 Bulgarians leave this country, he
went on to say. Nearly 40 per cent of Bulgarians live on the
poverty threshold, and in this respect we are at the bottom of
Europe, Trenchev said.