PM: Bulgaria to Be Burdened with BGN 3 B Debts in 2012

Politics » DOMESTIC | January 3, 2012, Tuesday // 09:54
Bulgaria: PM: Bulgaria to Be Burdened with BGN 3 B Debts in 2012 Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov has pledged a boost in EU funds absorption. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's government is supposed to save BGN 3 B over the course of 2012 in order to pay off old debts, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has declared.

According to Borisov, the sum is the combined total that the government will have to pay under various projects – including money owed for the Belene nuclear power plant project (whose construction remains uncertain), payments to the German bank KfW for the Desiro Siemens trains, a water system project in the city of Kardzhali known as the "Water Mirror" which was started by the former Cabinet, as well as dues under euro bonds deal carried out by the 2001-2005 government.

Borisov's debt estimates have come up in an interview for the Bulgarian National Television made New Year's Eve, and broadcast Tuesday morning.

"If we imagine the state as a family – as our wishes for 2012 go – we need to save BGN 3 B on top of our current expenditures to pay off old debts," the Prime Minister claims, reminding that Finance Minister Simeon Djankov has envisaged a "buffer" of BGN 2 B in the 2012 State Budget for old debts.

The Bulgarian PM further justified the seemingly endless delay and talks with Russia's Rosatom and Atomstroyexport for the fate of the Belene nuclear power plant project.

"Such a large and expensive project cannot be signed on your knee in a piano bar, it needs to be fine-tuned all over. The signing of such a contract is like getting married today, and sleeping with your wife only next year. Neither the price of the Belene NPP construction, nor the price of the electricity that it will produce is clear," Borisov stated.

The PM made elaborated on the projects and task that his government will focus on in 2012.

"In 2012, we will launch infrastructure of which we have only dreamed in the past few decades. The pension reform that we started will yield results in 2015, and this is a long-term goal," he said.

He added that his Cabinet plans to absorb EUR 4-4.5 B of EU funds, and to continue the financial and economic stability in the country.

The infrastructure projects that Borisov plans to open in 2012 are the second line of the Sofia Metro, the southern arc of the Sofia beltway, the Trakiya Highway, Danube Bridge 2, and the railways Sofia-Svilengrad, and Plovdiv-Burgas.

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Tags: Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, Simeon Djankov, Belene, Belene NPP, Nuclear Power Plant, KfW, Water Mirror, EU funds, absorption, Sofia metro, Sofia beltway, Sofia ringroad, Trakiya Highway, Danube Bridge 2, Plovdiv-Burgas railroad, Sofia-Septemvri railway, Plovdiv-Svilengrad Railway, debts, debt
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