site.btaMedia Review: July 31

Media Review: July 31
Media Review: July 31
Bulgarian newspapers (BTA Photo)

HOME AFFAIRS

Kiril Petkov: The life of the government depends on everyone's discipline is the title of a 24 Chasa frontpage analysis, covering the last week in Parliament before summer recess. The former prime minister's warning came after difficult days during which frequent sparks flied between the (claimed) [non]coalition partners. The last spat was over the nomination of Stanimir Mihailov for new governor of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) by Continue the Change – Democratic Bulgaria (CC-DB). GERB were against, at first, for he had submitted a declaration with untrue content, as established by the State Agency for National Security.  And lawmakers told of midnight haggling between GERB and CC-DB for regional governors, which took place in the parliamentary corners during the second reading of the budget on Friday. It is expected this week GERB and CC-DB will finally sign a mechanism for their joint work after the people of Kiril Petkov and Hristo Ivanov refused to have a coalition agreement. "If the discipline of each of us is to put national priorities above personal party interests, this government can last a long time. But if each party is tempted to put its personal party interest ahead of that of the country, it may be very short. It's a question of discipline and prioritisation", commented Kiril Petkov in the Sunday 150 programme on Bulgarian National Radio (BNR). He assumed that the cabinet could last 4 years. But he explained that "this tension will continue every day because new decisions have to be made and each one affects both party interests and national interests". "We needed 160 votes for the constitution. In order to have over these votes, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) was as important as GERB, as important as we are for this project to be a reality," Petkov said. The door was wide open for the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and There Is Such a People (TISP).

***

We are changing SJC in September, warned Peevski, as quoted by 24 Chasa. "I am extremely indignant. It is unacceptable for such an atrocity to happen in a civilised European country. The Inspectorate with the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) should immediately investigate itself and carry out its own investigation of the magistrates who released the sadist and allowed him to walk free after his crime," Peevski told BLITZ. commenting on last week's case of an abused 18-year-old girl from Stara Zagora. He added that if the Inspectorate had not yet moved, the MRF would formally refer him to it on Monday.

***

Constitutional changes: one step forward, two steps back says an analysis by Borislav Tsekov of the Centre for New Europe in Trud, subtitled Three groups of texts stand out: useful, useless and harmful. The useful proposals are about strengthening the parliamentary republic and strengthening the guarantees against deviations of the constitutional system towards a one-person presidential regime. The bad precedents of recent years, when the institution of caretaker government has been abused to the point of turning it into a rubber stamp for a direct presidential rule, have brought to the fore the issue of limiting presidential discretion in this procedure. The draft proposes that the National Assembly should not be dissolved before an election, but only should not sit during the month of the election campaign. Among the useless and partly unacceptable proposals, the proposals on the judiciary should be particularly mentioned. The idea of two separate bodies - judicial and prosecutorial councils - requires a Grand National Assembly. The division of the SJC into two colleges does not have the key character that is attributed to it, and it would be wrong to expect it to cure the current defects of judicial staffing." However, the damaging proposal to remove the ban on persons who have citizenship other than Bulgarian from being MPs, ministers, president and vice-president is worrying. The ban on persons with second nationality holding such positions is a product of our national specificity, formed in conflicting geopolitical and regional conditions. It does not violate rights but protects an overriding public interest - state sovereignty and national security.

***

All media comment on the developments involving a man disfiguring an 18-year-old girl from Stara Zagora.  A wave of protests against violence in the country after the case of the brutal attack on a girl in Stara Zagora, Trud reports. Protesters will gather outside the courthouses of more than 20 cities at 6pm. The first protest was scheduled for Stara Zagora, where the victim of the mock knife attack is from. After that, many more cities began to join the list. A national protest is scheduled for Sofia. On Sunday morning, the suspected perpetrator, the victim's boyfriend, was arrested. Meanwhile, the prosecutor's office said it was speeding up its investigation into the case. Trud also quotes Stara Zagora Regional Prosecutor Tanya Dimitrova as telling Nova TV that We want the five-person expert examination to clarify the exact nature of the injuries, number and type. She denied any delay on the case, which was opened at the end of June. In another development, defendant Georgi Nikolaev has not threatened the family of the girl and adamantly denies having perpetrated the crime from the very beginning, his lawyer, Valentin Dimitrov, told bTV's morning show. 

***

Former GERB interior minister and current Ambassador to Israel Rumyana Buchvarova told bTV that at the moment the most important are the changes in the Constitution and the principle of rotation is not a principle that guarantees the government, it guarantees the formation of a government. She also welcomed the proposal to change the national holiday, even changing names of streets and recalled the history of the St. Alexander Nevsky cathedral.

***

24 Chasa carries an interview with prominent archaeologist Prof. Kazimir Popkonstantinov discussing the recent proposal to substitute the date of Bulgaria's national holiday, which is currently March 3, Liberation Day, for May 24, the Day of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius, the Bulgarian Alphabet, Education and Culture and of Slav Letters, renamed as "Day of the Bulgarian Word, Education and Culture, and the Cyrillic Alphabet". According to Prof. Popkonstantinov, May 24 is the only holiday that is equally celebrated by all Bulgarians, regardless of their political, religious and other beliefs. A holiday that in 1985 was celebrated in Murmansk and then established in Russia. The holiday puts on a pedestal the education, culture and enlightenment bequeathed to us by our ancestors for 1160 years, which gives reason to regain that mass aspiration for enlightenment, rooted by the revivalists and not extinguished under communism, which today has almost collapsed, and which alone can raise us up. The nation is not divided only on the 24th of May. It is the politicians who have contributed to the division, and they should learn from the life path of St. Tsar Boris, thanks to whom, I will stress once again, we are Bulgarians today, literate, enlightened and that our Cyrillic is used by over 250 million people.

***

ECONOMY

The Nuclear Regulatory Agency has started the process of licensing the new US fuel for Kozloduy NPP Unit 5. It is planned that this unit will operate with Westinghouse fuel, while the Russian fuel of the plant's sixth unit will be replaced with that of Framatome. Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA) Chairman Tsanko Bachiiski told Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) that the authorisation of the new fuel type is no different from what has been done before. The process is the same. We have enough experience. We have done it twice aleady. The fact that it is US fuel does not change the permitting approach in any way." The analysis aims to prove that at no point in the life cycle will this fuel cause and endanger the environment and people, and that it is guaranteed that whatever happens, the consequences will be within the plant, Bachiiski explained in an interview with the "Before All" programme. The actual process of switching from one type of fuel to another lasts four years, the expert said, adding that for four years the two fuels, Russian and American, will work together.

***

Trud features an interview with the Chairman of the Union for Private Economic Enterprise, Kuzman Iliev, according to whom Bulgaria suffers from a competitiveness haemorrhage. Iliev comments on the recently adopted by Parliament State Budget 2023, particularly the requirement for companies to declare truck shipments in advance, as well as to report to the National Revenue Agency every three months if they have large cash balances. MPs also passed changes to the Insurance Code relating to the Green Card. There is to be a review of the pension system and it was announced that they will also be looking at a new formula for the minimum wage. Cybersecurity is now crucial for people and businesses. With questions about whether the budget could have been better, what the implications of the changes to the Insurance Code will be, what direction the changes to the pension system and the minimum wage formula should take, and what cyberattacks people should be prepared for, the daily turned to the new chairman of the UPEE, Iliev. Asked about Minister of Labour and Social Policy Ivanka Shalapatova's announcement that she is launching work on introducing an adequate minimum wage directive and whether he thinks the formula for the minimum wage to be 50% of the average should be changed, he said automatism in this case is a misreading of the EU directive. It explicitly talks about collective bargaining and social dialogue. The directives make it possible to take account of local conditions in one economy or another. A minimum wage of 50% of the average gross wage for some regions would be extremely burdensome - especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Again, the State should delegate more room for decision to the social partner in the case of pension reform.

***

Telegraf carries an interview with top financier and market analyst Bisser Manolov who discusses the feasibility of fears involving Bulgaria's future euro changeover. Manolov says he finds it hard to believe people even question that for such an unequivocal and logical subject. Besides the pseudo-patriotic and heavily populist debate, which split society, he sees the main blame that split ordinary people on the subject in the state institutions responsible for this accession process and the lack of large-scale explanatory campaigns in clear and accessible language, as well as the irresponsible political behaviour of parties with a misunderstood patriotism, aiming only to maintain a high degree of tension among the people, making them easy to manipulate. Bulgaria is 70% in the euro area, which, although quasi membership, stems from the principles of the functioning of the currency board. The financial calm in our economy over the last almost two decades is a function of this fact. In the real economy, I would say that this percentage is approaching 100. The remaining 30% is the logical final phase of Bulgaria's full integration into the Economic and Monetary Union. 

***

The biggest achievement of this budget is that it has cancelled the apocalypse that the caretaker cabinet was outlining - a bankruptcy of the state and a 6.7% deficit, CC-DB MP Venko Sabrutev said in NOVA TV's Hello, Bulgaria morning show. The parliament has adopted a balanced financial framework with a 3% deficit. Many things we wanted to go into the budget did not happen, such as the reform to lighten the restaurant business. The receipt measure was intended to have the money we give them by paying our bill, the restaurateurs bring it into the state, not buy expensive cars with it. There was no majority to pass this reform. Vazrazhdane, GERB and TISP voted against. The reform requiring payment of salaries by bank transfer did not pass either. However, a key reform was the so-called base account, allowing people to withdraw their salaries, pensions and stipends from ATPs of the respective bank where they have opened such accounts free of charge. Funds for education also underwent a record increase.

 

 

 

 

/BR/

news.modal.header

news.modal.text

By 11:58 on 28.02.2024 Today`s news

This website uses cookies. By accepting cookies you can enjoy a better experience while browsing pages.

Accept More information