Bulgaria Right Wing: Rift with GERB Deepens over Crisis Reform

Politics » DOMESTIC | April 12, 2010, Monday // 15:54
Bulgaria Right Wing Threatens Rift with Ruling GERB over Crisis Reform: Bulgaria Right Wing: Rift with GERB Deepens over Crisis Reform The co-Chair of Bulgaria's right-wing Blue Coalition and leader of DSB, Ivan Kostov, is highly critical of the GERB effort to fight the deepening economic crisis in the country. Photo by BGNES

The co-Chair of Bulgaria's Blue Coalition, Ivan Kostov, warns that differences between the right wing and the ruling GERB will deepen if the cabinet backs off from the economic reform.

Kostov, who is also the leader of the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) party, spoke Monday after a meeting of the party's National Committee. He made it clear that if the ruling majority from the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party changes their opinion about the reforms in different sectors of the economy, the DBS functions as reform guarantor will become useless.

''Trying to find money so that unreformed systems like health care and education can survive is a huge mistake,” the right-wing leader stressed.

DBS say they will try to influence the government to alter the recently declared 60 anti-crisis measures because the crisis in Bulgaria is deepening and the country now enters a dangerous fiscal crisis as well.

Kostov expects that a great deal of the anti-crisis measures will be changed or tossed in the trashcan in the Parliament's plenary hall because they have been created mainly by labor unions and employers, not the cabinet. He stressed that these measures were not declared by GERB and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, is the only one that identifies himself with them.

The DSB leader also predicts that at the end the Value Added Tax (VAT) will increase from 20% to 22%, as Djankov and the cabinet initially proposed but later change mind over public and expert criticism.

Kostov further voiced his disappointment from the lack of indication that any particular measures to lower budget expenditures are being planned.

“I want to believe that we cannot apply for the ERM 2 over the budget deficit, not over the lack of will on the part of the cabinet,” the right-wing leader stated, adding that GERB must apply all efforts to maintain the deficit under 3%.

DSB and their coalition partner, the Union of Democratic Forces will have a meeting later Monday to clarify their position and their future joint actions.

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Tags: greece, Eurozone, euro, ERM II, ERM 2, VAT, Simeon Djankov, Blue Coalition, Ivan Kostov
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