Bulgaria’s Big Retail Chains Face Ultimatum: Iron Discipline or Shutdown
The control over observance of anti-epidemic measures will be uncompromising, the first to see it will be the owners of the large retail chains. In order to be warned in person, their owners will be called for a meeting with the Minister of Economy Lachezar Borisov.
Chief Health Inspector Angel Kunchev broke the news during the traditional weekly briefing of the National Operational Staff today. Apart from medical experts, Lachezar Borisov and Minister of Labor Denitsa Sacheva took part in it.
"We are doing this to agree on the strict implementation of the measures, as under the previous order we have witnessed quite gross violations that we have no intention of tolerate now. The owners should be aware that if we find such breaches, we will be forced to stop their work", stressed Angel Kunchev.
The reaction was triggered by photos posted on social media, which 10 days ago showed crowds gathering at toy retail chains.
Asked what measures should be followed to keep it from closing, he replied:
"Masks, distance, disinfection and no crowding."
Angel Kunchev clarified that it is necessary to monitor crowding not only inside the stores, where there should be a restriction for number of visitors at a time, but also in the queues outside them.
The meeting will also discuss the possibility of extending working hours as a means of avoiding crowds at peak times.
"The economy is valuable, but anti-epidemic measures must be respected", Lachezar Borisov was adamant.
He stressed that in some of the measures implemented by the Economic Ministry, supported by European funds , there are serious conditions and steps that need to be implemented. In his words, the types of measures are different when financed with a state budget. With European funds it is more difficult, Lachezar Borisov added.
According to him, in addition to the NRA the Bulgarian Development Bank takes part in the economic support programs of the governmenrt.
"The two new designs of the BDB under the two procedures continue - for individuals and companies. Large companies now now apply for loans there of up to BGN 2 million,“ explained Borisov. He added that so far the funds that have reached the business under this program are over EUR 150 million and people received loans totaling BGN 100 million. We plan to continue it in the future as well, Borisov said.
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