Bulgarian Parliament Approves 2016 Draft Budget at First Reading
On Thursday, the Bulgarian parliament approved at first reading the draft government budget for next year.
A total of 138 MPs voted in favour of the draft budget, 65 lawmakers were against, while nine abstained, daily Dnevnik informs.
The draft budget was approved by MPs from the two parties constituting the ruling coalition, namely the main ruling party GERB and its junior coalition partner the Reformist Bloc (RB).
MPs from the two parties supporting the coalition government – the Patriotic Front (PF) and the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV) also voted in favour of the draft budget.
Lawmakers from the Bulgarian Democratic Centre (BDC) as well as three MPs not belonging to any parliamentary group also backed the draft budget.
MPs from the main opposition parties - the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) and the nationalist Ataka voted against the draft budget.
Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov described the draft budget as stable and realistic, private bTV station reports.
The draft budget foresees revenues of BGN 33 B, expenditures of BGN 34.8 B and a deficit of BGN 1.8 B or 2 %.
The economic growth is forecast at 2.1 %, while the government is expected to take a new BGN 5.3 B loan.
At the same time an update of the 2015 budget was proposed, with the deficit set to increase from 3 % to 3.3 %.
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