site.btaUPDATED Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov Analyses Last Six Months of Government's Work
Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov overviewed the last six months of the government's work before the start of Cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday.
“We were aware that the tasks were difficult and the support uncertain,” the Prime Minister said. The first task was to fight inflation, to stop the thinning of the Bulgarian wallet, but also to support its purchasing power. Inflation fell to pre-war levels. Incomes outstripped annual inflation. The Christmas of 2023 will be better than that of 2022. In the 2024 budget, there is an 11% increase in incomes,” Prime Minister Denkov pointed out.
In his words, the first task of the government was to fight inflation. Denkov reported that inflation fell to pre-war levels. In October 2021 it was 6%, this October it is 5.8% and is the lowest in two years. The government has introduced measures to ensure permanently low prices for basic necessities, and support for Bulgarian food producers, Denkov pointed out.
Thanks to the adopted budget, incomes are outpacing annual inflation. The 2024 budget foresees an increase in incomes by 11%, many times above expected inflation, the Prime Minister said.
He singled out as a success the beginning of the justice reform. “Just half a year ago, control over the prosecutor general and the anti-corruption law seemed a political utopia, and now they are a fact,” Denkov stressed, adding that although these efforts are important mostly for justice in Bulgaria, they are also appreciated by its partners. Europe has abolished special monitoring and recognises this country’s right to be accepted into Schengen, Denkov stressed.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the introduction of large-scale decentralisation of funds for municipalities for the first time. In 2024, they will receive BGN 1 billion for their projects, distributed not according to party sympathies, but where there is a building permit or a design visa according to the priorities of the municipalities, Denkov said.
“In January, the first medical helicopters are expected, and before Christmas - new ambulances for emergency aid. We have given a real start to the financing of the project for the seventh unit of Kozloduy NPP,” Denkov said. According to him, this is an investment in the country's energy security which guarantees long-term lower electricity prices, and part of Bulgaria's high-tech development.
Denkov said that another task in the focus of the government over the past six months has been to unblock the construction of roads and motorways.
Investments in the economy grew by more than 50% compared to 2022 and exceeded BGN 6 billion, Denkov reported. Under EU programmes for competitiveness and innovation, businesses can now receive BGN 427 million. When companies earn more, they will pay higher wages, the Prime Minister said. According to him, the aim is to realise the transformation from the economy of cheap labour to an economy of high added value.