Did Bulgaria Side with UK against Europe?
As was clear from the start, implementing the recently brokered European Fiscal Union is set to be problematic, as EU members are likely to bring to the table conflicting views as to its fleshing out.
Among the first specific indicators for this is the fact that just days after the European Council, the UK, Hungary, Romania - and Bulgaria - all refused to contribute money to an EU bailout fund at the IMF.
Britain's position is clear and expected, as it was the only EU member state which right from the start voiced a principled refusal to support the fiscal union and the deeper integration it required.
This has prompted a wave of comments to the effect that the UK has for various reasons taken up a course of determined distancing from the European Union.
Hungary and Romania have both more or less recently embarked on loan programs with the IMF. On top, Hungarian PM Viktor Orban's cabinet has been pursuing a self-styled isolationist and eurosceptic policy.
Bulgaria's position is rather more baffling, given that the country was among those who staunchly supported creating a deeper fiscal union, albeit not being a eurozone member.
The official arguments of the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance make things even more confusing: "Bulgaria is not a party to the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism and has no financial commitments in regard to it."
Among the percepts in the reinforced fiscal union agreement is the furthering of the selfsame European Stability Mechanism. Go figure.
Then there is the explicit rebuffal of the value of solidarity among EU members, as concerns the IMF bailout:
"Bulgaria will not take part in programmes to support financially undisciplined countries," said FinMin Simeon Djankov to EU counterparts, as reported by Bulgarian media.
Has the Bulgarian government secretly adopted a UK-style attitude against the EU as a political union?
"Bulgaria will not take part in programmes to support financially undisciplined countries," said FinMin Simeon Djankov
This is absolutely the correct approach. Why should a poor country like Bulgaria, which has adopted austere economic approach to managing its finances and balance its books now help bail-out countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland et al who have enjoyed years of growth, massive infrastructure investment, high wages and pensions, and unwarranted increases in the standard of living on the back of irresponsible fiscal governance?
“Has the Bulgarian government secretly adopted a UK-style attitude against the EU as a political union?”
No, and anyone who follows Bulgarian politics should know the answer straight away.
As normal, the big man with the small brain likes to portray himself as a great European leader, especially in front of the other heads of state and will agree to anything without understanding what it is… Like in the above mentioned article.
Of course when he gets home and Scrooge tells him that we have very little money for ourselves, let alone contribute to the Eurozone bail out fund, a new plan to cover up the mistake was hasty hatched.
Elementary my dear Watson !!
Bulgaria is being realist by acknowledging that, as it is not pert of the Euro, although it may support greater union ties of fiscal management, it cannot be responsible for what happens until it is part of the Eurozone. If it cannot be responsible it cannot and should not pay. This may lead it to the same position of the UK but from a different angle, something it had not forseen but the UK had. There will be more wanting to join the opt out you wait and see.