BulgarianT rade Unions Push for 12-percent Rise in average Wages, Crisis is Looming Large
From January 1, the minimum wagehoul be raid by BGN 120. up to 760, the trade unions suggest, and this will lead to a 12% increase in the average wage across the country. In their view, this is the only way to respond to galloping inflation. "Our goal is to achieve a minimum-to-average wage ratio of 50%, but this must happen before we enter the Eurozone. At the moment it is 43% and in order toachive upward trend there must be growth", explained CITUB economic expert Lyuboslav Kostov.
At this stage, however, the caretaker government has no answer as to whether this can happen.
"This growth must be aligned, on the one hand, with growth in the economy, which is currently around 9.9% and, on the other hand, with the growth of the average wage. A olution must be found that is acceptable for companies as well, because there is also an increase in costs", pointed out the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy Ivan Krastev.
Experts are also worried about the impending increase in electricity prices, which will entil higher prices for all goods and services.
CITUB estimates that prices in the consumer basket will increase by about 5% in the last quarter, above all because of the appreciation of industrial electricity. This is above the BNB's forecast of 3.5% inflation at the end of the year. The bankruptcies of water supply companies in the country are not not ruled out either.
"If today the electricityprice of the current is to the tune of BGN 300. for MWh in the costs of water suppliers, with the price of electricity being GN 70. 70 BGN as a recognized price, and they pay BGN 300 because no electricity supplier will supply a water supplier with electricity at the same price as energy regulator has recognized it", commented the Chairman of Podkrepa trade union confederaion Dimitar Manolov.
According to the experts, only two of the water supply andsewerage companies – thosein Sofia and Burgas – can cope with the record growth in the price of electricity for business. The remaining 50 are effectively at risk.
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