Bulgarian FinMin Assuages Recession Fears
Economic growth in Bulgaria in 2011 will be 3% to 4% instead of the forecasted 5% if there is an economic delay in Western Europe in the 3rd and 4th quarters of the year.
The statement was made by Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, who spoke in an interview for the Bulgarian National Television, BNT, upon his return from the meeting of the finance ministers of the European Union in Wroclaw, Poland.
Djankov was adamant that despite the more pessimistic forecast there would be no recession in Bulgaria. He pointed out that there would be an opportunity in the budget for income increase in 2012 but only for the most disadvantaged Bulgarians.
According to the Minister, the National Revenue Agency, NRA, will have a hard time to make up for the BGN 250-300 M deficit gap, opened by the National Social Security Institute, NOI. He praised the Customs Agency for collecting, in the last few months, BGN 50 M more a month than what has been planned.
Djankov confirmed his intentions to redirect funds from the Security sector to the social ones, adding a country's security is maintained not by the number of weapons and people who are spied on, but by the percentage of its citizens with good jobs and access to good education and health care.
Regarding the meeting in Wroclaw, the Minister informed that Bulgaria has joined Germany, Austria and Finland in insisting on a firmer approach to the Greek crisis.
Djankov believes that Athens will face serious difficulties in repaying the principal of its loans and announced his support for a partial restructuring of the Greek debt.
"Greece's problems are also now problems for those French banks which gave credits to Athens along with being a political problem for Paris. In addition, there is a delay in finding a solution for the Greek crisis due to the presidential elections in France. The Greek recession leads to a slowdown of western economies which, on its part reflects negatively on Bulgaria," the Minister said, adding the possibility to expel a particular country from the Eurozone had not been discussed in Wroclaw.
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