site.btaMedia Review: February 23

Media Review: February 23
Media Review: February 23

ENERGY - ECONOMY

The political turmoil of the last days and the lack of sufficient political support are about to block another attempt to pass offshore wind energy legislation, Capital writes. 

In January, it was passed at first reading by the National Assembly, but a second reading may not happen, as the lack of consensus on key points along with the absence of substantive debate and the current fragile political situation are about to lead to another postponement of the document. There was an attempt to adopt such a law in the previous parliament, but the final vote did not take place due to the lack of time and the early dissolution of the legislature. Now the situation may be similar and Bulgaria may again find itself unable to attract investors. Unlike Romania, for example, which has set a target to launch the first tender for such projects already this year.

***

Trud: Bulgaria is among the EU countries with the highest inflation, Eurostat data show. The annual inflation in this country, according to the consumer basket of the EU countries, at the end of January was 4%, compared to an EU average of 3.1%. Inflation Bulgaria is significantly higher than in the countries with the smallest price changes and this country does not meet the criterion for joining the euro area. Inflation is lowest in Denmark and Italy - both 0.9%, in Latvia, Lithuania and Finland - 1.1% each.

Compared to Bulgaria, inflation is higher in Austria (4.3%), Slovakia (4.4%), Poland (4.5%), Croatia (4.8%), Estonia (5.0%) and Romania (7.3%). Since joining the euro area, Croatia has been ahead of Bulgaria in terms of inflation. Before the record price rise in 2022, inflation in Croatia was low and close to the EU average. In 2022, inflation in Croatia rose but remained lower than in Bulgariacountry. But a few months after joining the euro area, since June 2023, inflation in Croatia has been persistently higher than in Bulgaria, Trud writes.

POLITICS 

The draft memorandum on the government priorities, which Continue the Change – Democratic Bulgaria (CC-DB) offered Tuesday to their power-sharing partner GERB-UDF, continues to receive media coverage by the news media.

The memorandum was made public by CC-DB late on Tuesday, was rejected by GERB the next day and was bitterly criticized by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and the Socialist party. There was talk of early elections: two-in-one elections for European Parliament and national parliament in the summer.

24 Chasa: Talks some 15 hours after Deputy Prime Minister Mariya Gabriel's refusal to sign the memorandum proposed by Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria (CC-DB) were held by her and Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov. 

This happened before Wednesday's meeting of the Council of Ministers. The two entered the meeting room together from the prime minister's office, and the meeting itself started an hour later than usual - at 11:00 instead of 10:00. 

"This is what people expect from us today - through reasonable arguments and calm tone to find workable solutions to move forward with the reforms. For almost nine months this government has been working and delivering results in an extremely complex political construct, only because we have all shown here at this table that we can have dialogue with each other, with our stakeholders and with our partners," said Denkov at the start of the meeting.

"We have shown that we can find solutions for the benefit of the people," he continued, giving as an example the money provided for free textbooks for pupils up to the 12th grade, the budget for the National Health Insurance Fund, the more than BGN 400 million for the implementation of the planned investment programme of municipalities, etc.

"It is important to move forward so that every week we can make confident steps towards the European development of this Bulgaria in which we want to live together," the Prime Minister added. 

*** 

"End the emotion, it's time to do work," Standart quotes CC-DB co-leader Kiril Petkov as telling journalists in Parliament. 

"I think it's time for everyone to calm down a bit.  There have been some big passions here, some big emotions. The truth is that we need to take a step forward in changing all these institutions, which all Bulgarians have wanted for a long time," said Petkov.

He commented on the remarks of GERB leader Boyko Borissov, who criticised the memorandum proposed by CC-DB, as well as Movement for Rights and Freedoms Floor Leader Delyan Peevski, who said that Ivanov "has sat in his lap and drank greasy Turkish coffee" while the constitutional amendments were being made. 

"Nobody needs elections, the truth is that we need to take a step forward in changing all these institutions that all Bulgarians have been asking for for a long time. Let's create this memorandum or just let GERB ]propose another text", said Kiril Petkov.

***

NOVA TV quotes GERB leader Boyko Borissov as saying that with this memorandum, it appears that NGOs stand higher than the parties. He criticized CC-DB for expressing readiness to give up the Foreign Ministry, while wanting all other ministries to remain theirs. According to this document [the proposed memorandum], only CC-DB and GERB would elect the regulators, meaning that everyone else who voted for other parties will be ignored, he said. 

"All parties are in an election campaign, but now we are too, we are mobilizing ourselves along the party structures," said the GERB leader.

*** 

Duma quotes Socialist leader Kornelia Ninova as saying in Parliament: "You see what is happening - something we have been repeating for nine months, these people gathered only for posts, for money, for power and for the division of the country into pieces. The mafia has started to eat itself". 

JUSTICE 

The aftermath of Martin “The Notary” Bozhanov’s murder, who was an alleged influence trader in the judiciary, continues to receive extensive media coverage. 

Capital: The groups gravitating around the “Eight Dwarfs” (named after a restaurant in Sofia, where Petyo “The Euro” Petrov allegedly held meetings and brokered shady deals with the judiciary) and  and the murdered Bojanov hold the key to unraveling the dependencies in the judiciary. 

Illegal sex tapes, rumours of child pornography videos, compromises with copious amounts of alcohol and drugs, tales of parties attended by criminals, judges and prosecutors, fixing case files, broght in person by proseuctors to influence brokers in various pubs, and to top it off - numerous properties acquired by relatives and children of those involved in the above-mentioned plots. If one listens longer to the unofficial accounts of the way the prosecution and the courts function in Bulgaria, the impression will be of a news report from Sodom and Gomorrah.  

Following the lead to Bozhanov's shooting in early February could shed light on these irregularities and interdependencies in the judiciary. Moreover, most of the actions taken in this situation by both Parliament (with Movement for Rights and Freedoms Floor Leader Delyan Peevski as the main initiator) and the prosecution service, headed by acting Prosecutor General Borislav Sarafov, seem to be aimed at covering up and downplaying the case.  The reason also seems clear -the management of the prosecution service is at stake. Alongside this, however, all the plots that started to unravel after the murder reveal once again how accounts are being settled through the prosecution service.

Several conclusions can be drawn from the information that followed the shooting of Martin Bozhanov:

 The Notary and the Eight Dwarfs cases are inextricably linked; Related in the same way are the main actors in them; The network of the missing investigator Petyo "The Euro" Petrov was higher up in the "food chain" of the judiciary than that of the murdered Bozhanov. By 2020, Martin Bozhanov had a good, and probably "working" relationship with the Eight Dwarfs' circle; The straining of relations between the two "clans" began with a domestic element: the separation between Lyubena Pavlova and her ex-husband Petyo Petrov, as Lyubena maintained a close relationship with Bozhanov. 

The turning point for the whole saga, however, was May 1, 2023, when an improvised device exploded near the car of then Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev and set off a "regrouping" at the top of the prosecutor's office (in Sarafov's words from a later released recording).

/MY/

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By 14:35 on 16.04.2024 Today`s news

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