Bulgarian President Radev Criticizes Finance Minister, Contemplates Budget Veto
President Rumen Radev of Bulgaria has issued a stern warning to Parliament, urging a check on the Finance Minister's actions and threatening a potential veto of the 2024 state budget bill if necessary measures aren't taken. Speaking in Burgas, Radev highlighted concerns about the series of financial experiments unfolding in the country's finance sector.
A key issue raised by Radev was the financial condition of the state-owned gas transmission company Bulgartransgas. He expressed alarm over its mounting debt, totaling BGN 260 million in a month, emphasizing that the company had made no contributions to the public purse.
The president's stance against a newly implemented fee of BGN 20/MWh for Russian gas imports remained steadfast. He warned that this fee could plunge the Bulgarian operator into a crisis and strain relations with European countries reliant on Russian gas via Bulgaria. Radev has already contested the constitutionality of this fee before the Constitutional Court.
Radev also condemned plans by the Finance Minister to sell 70,000 ha of state-owned arable land for BGN 340 million, labeling it "inadmissible." He emphasized that this land is a strategic resource vital for the country's interests and should not be compromised to address fiscal needs or compensate for financial shortcomings. He expressed concern that this move could open doors to potential misuse and urged politicians from all parties to halt this risky venture.
Furthermore, Radev criticized the government's handling of the winter crisis caused by severe weather conditions. Praising the efforts of various organizations and the Armed Forces, he highlighted their proactive response without waiting for directives from what he referred to as a "government in stupor."
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