Bulgaria's Conservatives, Socialists Fail to Agree in Gov't Talks
The two biggest Bulgarian parties failed to shake hands at the consultations held in Parliament on Monday.
After the four-hour-long talks, Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) took no decision to jointly participate in a coalition government.
Forming cabinet alliances between parties will be possible after GERB is officially handed out the mandate to form a government.
However, last week election winners from GERB announced they would hold preliminary talks to look for inter-party cooperation amid an expected deadlock in Parliament, where eight parties made it on October 5.
GERB and the BSP found common ground on 4 out of the 12 priorities that were subject to discussion representatives of the two parties announced after the consultations which they held behind closed doors.
Both entities have similar positions on issues like Bulgaria's role in NATO and the EU, improving the business climate, accession into the Single Supervisory Mechanism (EU's banking union) and national effort to have payments under EU programs restored.
The crisis at Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), Bulgaria's fourth-largest lender, infrastructure, taxation, finance and energy are among the areas creating fault-lines between GERB and the BSP, their representatives say.
While the BSP has insisted that deposits in KTB be reimbursed as soon as the new government takes over, GERB believes a profound analysis should be carried out and international consultants should be appointed prior to any other action.
Socialists are willing to back the introduction of a progressive taxation system, whereas GERB are in favor of keeping the flat tax (introduced by a BSP cabinet in the mid-2000s).
Construction of the Belene NPP, electricity prices and incentives to boost economic growth also turn out to be divisive issues.
GERB's next meeting will be with representatives of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), Bulgaria's third-biggest party, later this week.
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