Economist Urges Total Privatization in Bulgaria

Business | March 17, 2010, Wednesday // 11:07
Bulgaria: Economist Urges Total Privatization in Bulgaria Krasen Stanchev, Chair of the IME. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s Borisov government should go all the way with privatization, according to Krasen Stanchev, Chair of Governing Board of the Sofia-based Institute for Market Economy.

Stanchev has welcomed the decision of the government to sell its minority shares in a number of companies saying that by doing this, the GERB party Cabinet is actually fulfilling its campaign promises.

By the end of the week, the government is going to set up a consolidated state company which will include minority shares from 55 companies in an attempt to generate badly needed revenue.

The IME Chair has pointed out that probably about BGN 100 M will be raised through these privatization deals which is not a lot but is still about one-third of the shortage of the National Health Insurance Fund. The other benefit will be that the state will save itself spending for inefficient enterprises.

“They should continue not just with the privatization of minority shares but also of still existing state companies. For example, there are road firms which are part of the problem with Bulgarian roads. They have to be privatized. The subsidies for the national radio and television must be axed, and they must be left to provide for themselves. The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences should also be privatized,” Stanchev said on TV.

He said entities such the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant, and the National Electric Company NEK are currently in the special list forbidding privatization. Yet, privatization should continue in areas such as retirement savings, healthcare, and education.

“Over the last 7-8 years we have seen centralization in these areas, and this is where the problems come from,” Stanchev said.

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Tags: Krasen Stanchev, IME, privatization
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