Bulgarian Argi Minister Assuages Price Hike Fears
Bulgarian Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, has countered data about a serious price hike of grocery and produce, released by the State Commission for Commodity Exchanges and Market Places.
Speaking Wednesday in an interview for bTV, Naydenov grounded his statement on the noted price reduction of cold cuts, chicken and ground meat and other basic staples from the so-called "social basket."
On Tuesday, the State Commission for Commodity Exchanges and Market Places' experts stated that wholesale prices of basic food items have been skyrocketing, including those of cooking oil, eggs, milk and milk products, accompanied with an unusual for the summer price hike of vegetables.
Naydenov explained the above with the "killer" global draught, saying prices on international markets are going up and the trend is to last for months, even years. He added that many manufacturers from the country's food industry work with very low profits, even at a loss, in order to keep jobs in their companies.
The Minister admitted the purchase power of Bulgarians is on the decline, but assured the cabinet would counter this with increasing salaries and retirement pensions.
He voiced satisfaction from the use of EU funds by his Ministry and from the overall work of the cabinet.
When approached by the hosts about the scandal with the Ministry's public tender for advertising the EU Program for Rural Development on social networks Twitter and Facebook, Naydenov labeled them a political attack. He said reports that BGN 50 000 were spent on something the average teenager can do in 15 minutes were false, and the amount was BGN 18 000.
The Minister further informed the case is being probed for possible abuse of EU funds, but insisted the scandal is politically motivated by the opposition left-wing over the fact that during their rule EU funds for Bulgaria were frozen due to large-scale misuse.
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