Bulgaria's Caretaker PM: Budget Update Is Inevitable
Bulgaria's caretaker Prime Minister Georgi Bliznashki has suggested that a budget update is unavoidable.
In a Tuesday interview for the Bulgarian National Television, he noted that the payments under a number of European operational programs were being delayed and that a number of contracts, which had already been signed, were not financially secured.
"We need a clear answer to these questions because we face a very tough period in the coming two or three months," he declared.
Bliznashki made clear that the caretaker government would prepare the essential points of the proposal for the update of the state budget, adding that it would be voted by the next Parliament.
He accused his predecessor, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, of not being assertive enough in his calls for a budget update.
He said that the current caretaker government was in a tough situation requiring that expenses be redirected from one program to another in order to be able to restore EU payments.
Bliznashki, as cited by Sega daily, emphasized that the good news was the recent signing of the 2014 Partnership Agreement between Bulgaria and the European Commission.
"It involves a huge amount of resources – over EUR 10 B plus another EUR 5 B under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund. All of this gives us a good perspective and hope for a better future," he declared, stressing that Bulgaria had to stick to EU rules in the hope of achieving sustainable economic growth and a substantial increase in living standards.
He vowed that the caretaker government would do its best to curb vote buying and take steps to prevent election fraud for the upcoming early elections on October 5, adding that the goal was legitimate election results, which were universally acceptable and incontestable.
Asked to comment on the accusations that he had risen to power due to his vocal stance in the mass anti-government protests which started in June 2013, Bliznashki argued that the rallies had been a case of civil society rioting against the dictate of oligarchy.
He insisted that his cabinet was not politically colored, adding that while it was true that he had a left-wing background, the panel of caretaker ministers consisted of highly qualified young professionals.
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