Bulgaria's PM Proclaims Raise of Minimum Wage
Bulgaria’s minimum month salary will be increased from BGN 240 to BGN 270, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov declared on Sudany.
He thus put an end to the speculations about whether the government will find money and/or is willing to take such a move demanded by syndicates since last year, but generally opposed by Finance Minister Simeon Djankov who is sticking to an austerity program.
“We’ve completed today our calculations, and as of Wednesday, the Cabinet will start the procedure for increasing the minimum wage, which will last several weeks. However, Dankov is already ready with the estimates,” the PM explained.
“As I have been repeating for several years – as soon as the economy starts overcoming the crisis, so that we don’t go bankrupt like the neighboring states, and so there is no populism – unlike with Stanishev and Co., our revenues allow an increase in the minimum wage. It will take several weeks, because it also has to be approved by the Parliament,” Borisov said referring to his predecessor, Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Sergey Stanishev. The Socialists have been notorious for increasing pensions as a pre-election move, and many analysts have accused Borisov of intending to do the same.
As far as retirement pensions are concerned, Borisov stated that a decision will be made in 10 days on how to go about raising them because the Cabinet of the center-right party GERB is concerned that it is upping the pensions right before the presidential and local elections in the fall of 2011 in order to boost its electoral support.
“The raising of the pensions will not be made as a one-time step because we don’t want to be accused of populism before the elections,” Borisov said as citedy by bTV.
He spoke in Bulgaria’s Aksakovo, a suburb of Varna, at the opening of two rehabilitated sections of the Varna-Aksakovo-Dobrich road; their combined length is BGN 7.7%, and the rehabilitation cost BGN 5.5 M. 75% of the funding came from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and 25% - from the state budget.
Borisov also announced that the government plans to gradually reduce the “subjective” traffic police, and to replace them with video cameras along the major roads.
He expressed optimism about the prospects of Northeastern Bulgaria with the future completion of the Hemus Highway linking Sofia and Varna via Northern Bulgaria.
“I dare say that with the confirmed EU funding for the Hemus Highway in 2013-2014, we are totally going to fulfill our commitments for this region. I hope that we will also manage to fix the situation with the airport in the town of Balchik, and I think the state will do this, and we will give a chance for the business north of Varna for better communications,” the Prime Minister said.
The airport near the Blakc Sea town of Balchik 40 km north of Varna is a military airport. During a visit in Kavarna on Saturday, Borisov promised that it will be turned into a civilian port to be used for tourist flight, and that it will be granted on a concession shortly.
He also promised a four-lane road along the northern Black Sea coast running from Varna to Constanta in Romania via Shabla.
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