Bulgaria’s Defence Minister Calls Urgent Meeting over Planned Pay Cuts
Bulgaria’s Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev has called an extraordinary meeting of the consultative Defence Council for Wednesday to discuss cuts in the remuneration packages of armed forces staff planned in the 2016 budget draft.
The potential risk of many members of the military leaving the armed forces as a result of the planned cuts will be the main item on the agenda of the meeting, the Defence Ministry announced on Tuesday.
The Defence Council brings together the Minister of Defence and the Chief of Defence, their deputies, as well as the chiefs of the land, sea and air forces.
The planned cuts sought by the Finance Ministry will curb the social rights of the armed forces staff, according to the statement.
The decision for the extraordinary meeting came as police officers blocked traffic in the central part of Sofia on Tuesday to protest planned cuts in the compensation packages paid upon retirement and the extra remuneration received for each year in service.
Earlier on Wednesday Nenchev described as ‘extremely good’ the government’s decision to allocate to spending on defence 1.34% of Gross Domestic Product next year.
The cabined approved the 2016 budget draft last week.
Under the draft’s initial version, defence spending was projected at BGN 1.007 B, or 1.13% of GDP. A further BGN 160 M was added later specifically for the purchase of new military hardware, distributed equally between the Navy and the Air DForce, Nenchev explained.
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