Bulgaria May Delay Pay Cuts in Police Force, Interior Minister Says
Bulgaria’s government may reconsider a controversial decision to impose pay cuts at the Interior Ministry as early as next year, Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova said on Tuesday.
Police officers held rallies across Bulgaria during the day to protest planned cuts in their remuneration packages, which had been surprisingly inserted into the 2016 budget draft by the Finance Ministry shortly before the government approved the document on October 30.
“The proposal, which prompted their reaction, had been submitted without discussion and there had been no procedure to express a different view,” Bachvarova told Nova TV channel.
“My responsibility as minister is to balance between the interests of employees, those of the ministry and, of course, financial stability. “
Bachvarova also said that the government could reconsider the decision in order to make it valid only for future employees of the Interior Ministry.
“However, this won’t solve the problems at the moment,” Bachvarova added, echoing comments by Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov who had said that the Interior Ministry spends 95% of its budget on payments to current and retiring employees and has little left to invest in buying new equipment and improving working conditions.
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov will meet with Bachvarova and Goranov on Wednesday morning to discuss the issue, Interior Ministry Chief Secretary Georgi Kostov said earlier on Tuesday.
“The issue you are concerned about will be no longer on the agenda,” Kostov told protesting police officers in Sofia.
The problem emerged just a day after the second round of Bulgaria’s local elections held on November 1. Borisov's centre-right GERB party, the biggest partner in a minority coalition government, has strengthened its grip on power on regional level after the elections.
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