Bulgaria’s Deputy Premier: Decision on Loosening Anti-Epidemic Measures Will Be Taken Next Week
"No one has said what will happen to the anti-epidemic measures since early February. This is due to happen within the next seven days. I expect the government to come out with a decision early next week," said in the studio of "Hello Bulgaria" Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev.
According to him, no one can commit to a preliminary forecast. It depends on the morbidity rates dynamics only.
"There are countries that have spent most of the previous year under a strict lockdown. However, the number of infected there is high. Even after shut-downs people get infected. The restrictive measures need to be applied cleverly", said Donchev.
"The state is trying to help businesses. The best we can do for them is to allow them to do their business," the Deputy Prime Minister added.
He further said that he did not want to see restaurants open even with the restrictions.
About the state financial support
"There are measures introduced to protect employees, workers and businesses. There is no measure that guarantees the company's revenue it had before the epidemic. The aid schemes that were implemented at the beginning of the pandemic enjoyed much higher interest than those offered now", explained Donchev.
According to him, one explanation for the small number of companies applying for state support is the fact that some of them have "stepped with one foot" in the grey sector.
"This leads to an additional fear that state inspections will follow. Something we never thought to do," the Deputy Prime Minister said.
"The assessment of the vaccination process by interim data is not correct. Vaccination has an effect when a significant percentage of the population is vaccinated. The figures now show a process in development, but do not show how it will end", said Tomislav Donchev.
"In terms of a final result, I am sure that Bulgaria will not do worse than the other countries in Europe. In any case, the next few months will be critical in this regard. There is no delay in immunization, we take into account the pace of vaccines delivery", adds Donchev.
"Whatever decision the government has made, it is neither economic nor political. It is health and is on the recommendation of the Bulgarian experts and scientists".
About the election
"Video monitoring is good practice in any case and is another measure for ensuring transparency of the electoral process. There was concern about whether live monitoring could be organized in all 12,000 polling stations of the country,“ Donchev explained.
He added that real-time streaming is not possible in every constituency.
"Usually, if there are impure political technologies, they are applied outside the polling stations. The entire electoral administration is made up of representatives of different political forces. There is a collision of interest there, which would not allow the relevant committee to break the rules," Donchev added.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the possibility should be sought to cancel all restrictions if someone decides to record the electoral process on a phone.
"The protocol will be publicly available and anyone may analyze it. If there is an error in it, it can be removed and commented on. There's nothing wrong with another transparency measure.'
About voting by mail
"In this kind of voting, there are several pitfalls. There is a significant risk of abuse of the right to vote, as shows the experience in many countries. The other issue of concern is the lack of guarantees that voter envelopes can be delivered on time. The third reason is the lack of guarantees for keeping the vote secret.
According to Donchev, election ploys are not good technology for making politics.
"If one of thee parties becomes the first political force tomorrow. Will this mean rigged election?" he said.
"We have only a few months until the election. The only thing that could be organized without creating the additional risks are the adequate arrangements for voting of quarantined persons. This is a complicated task because we are talking about expanding the range of mobile polling stations and providing everyone with the opportunity to vote", explained Donchev.
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