Bulgaria's Economic Success Delays Second Tranche of Recovery Plan Payments

Politics | January 12, 2024, Friday // 14:25
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Economic Success Delays Second Tranche of Recovery Plan Payments

Bulgaria's economy, outperforming initial projections, has become both a boon and a challenge as the country experiences delays in receiving the second tranche of payments under the EU's Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP). Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov recently shed light on the multifaceted factors contributing to this delay during a session addressing concerns raised by MP Grozdan Karadjov.

Denkov elucidated that due to Bulgaria's economic resilience exceeding expectations, renegotiations with the European Commission were necessary to reallocate funds appropriately. Consequently, this intricate negotiation process resulted in a revised funding allocation and, inevitably, a temporal setback.

Apart from the economic success, Denkov cited several other contributing factors to the delay. These included ongoing work by the caretaker government, legislative amendments awaiting adoption in the absence of a regular National Assembly, and the need to revisit conditions in the "Energy" sector, especially concerning coal plants.

Despite these hurdles, Denkov reassured the public that Bulgaria remains on track to receive the second payment by spring, emphasizing the government's commitment to navigating the complexities of the recovery process.

Karadjov, however, expressed dissatisfaction, pointing to Ministry of Defense data indicating that, as of November, only 196 million euros had been allocated from the anticipated total funding of 5.69 billion euros. He labeled this situation the "biggest shame in the European Union" and called for acknowledgment of the government's perceived failure.

Denkov responded assertively, requesting an apology from Karadjov. He defended the government's efforts, highlighting the ongoing rapid pace of work in fulfilling the country's obligations. Denkov challenged Karadjov to identify a country that had successfully completed its Recovery and Resilience Plan, sweetening the challenge with a promise to buy him a beer if he succeeded.

As the government faces criticism over the delays, the complexity of managing recovery funds and ensuring optimal utilization amid changing economic dynamics remains a focal point in Bulgaria's ongoing journey toward post-pandemic resilience.

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Tags: Bulgaria, performance, Recovery and Resilience, plan

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