site.btaUPDATED Campaign Highlights: March 23
Following are the election campaign highlights for March 23:
The policy of the large retail chains regarding Bulgarian agricultural products, VAT on foods and farm subsidies, irrigation and the options to employ seasonal workers from abroad, as well as early retirement in the sector, were on the agenda of a discussion between agricultural producers and GERB leader Boyko Borissov and representatives of the party in Sofia on Thursday.
The farmers asked about the possibility of requesting from Brussels a derogation for the waiver of customer duties on goods imported from Ukraine. They voiced concern over the grave situation in the sector.
"This reckless spending on pensions and wages has doomed all other sectors," Borissov commented. "The money is now missing from the budget, the fiscal reserve is down to BGN 10 billion," he stressed. Regarding the large retail chains, the problem is far from easy to address. In the GERB leader's opinion, in the present situation, subsidization is the way to keep a sector in business.
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"We are the Right, and we provide representation to the people who profess the Right-wing values: family, Christian morality, traditions," the leader of the Conservative Alliance of the Right (KOD), Dr Petar Moskov, said in the BTA Press Club in Sliven (Southeastern Bulgaria) on Thursday, presenting the party's candidate list for Multi-member Constituency No. 21.
Dr Moskov declared himself in favour of Right-wing economic solutions and for ending financial support for specified businesses, against "the decarbonization madness" and against "speculative politics". The KOD leader described as "murderous to business" plans to cap prices and levy a 33% tax on excessive profits and reproached politicians who do not take a stand on these issues.
KOD's top-of-the-list candidate in Sliven, lawyer Dimitar Syarov, said that he will prioritize the completion of the water cycle project in the city and integration of the Roma community through education.
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Kiril Petkov and other representatives of the Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria Coalition met with members of their organizations' members and supporters in the centre of Gabrovo (Central Bulgaria) on Thursday.
"We believe that each and every Bulgarian can live a normal European life. We have set ourselves some very clear points, which we want to turn into investments in Northern and Southern Bulgaria equally, we only had 164 days, this time we want a full term of office. All these investments we have hoped to happen and we have started in part, like the tunnel under Mt Shipka, should become a reality and be completed," Petkov said.
"Our purpose is to build a political system guaranteeing that, apart from construction and regional development, the infrastructure that will be set up will be used for generations to come," said Continue the Change MP candidate Yavor Bozhankov.
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Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) leader Mustafa Karadayi told supporters in the southern town of Kardzhali on Thursday that the agenda of the people should become the agenda of the politicians. "It should become the agenda of the National Assembly," Karadayi said. "This will happen when we share in the parliamentary majority. Sharing in the majority in the National Assembly, we will help elect a regular government which will have the people's agenda as its own agenda."
According to Karadayi, not only the people are getting poorer but the country itself is getting poorer, with a government debt in excess of BGN 40 billion. He likened the current domestic situation to that in 2001, when, after a wave of privatization, the economy was "ruined", inflation "soared", and the government debt "topped BGN 17.5 billion". "What happened then? The MRF came to power to enable the nation to overcome the crises," he said.
MRF deputy leader Hassan Azis said that voters gave a very clear sign to the political parties in the four latest snap elections: they made it clear that Bulgaria needs a coalition government.
The sequence of the campaign highlights featured in this report follows the ballot numbers of the 21 contestants in the April 2 snap parliamentary elections.