Bulgaria in between Resignation and new Elections

Bulgaria, 23 Jul - 05 Aug 2014
First steps of the caretaker government ++ Flooding: Over 100 buildings collapse ++ Over 110 million Euros for public health sector. by Alice Greschkow
First steps of the caretaker government

Even before the caretaker government was fully assembled, President Rossen Plevneliev announced that it would consist of pro-European experts, after the last government had resigned in late July.

Georgi Bliznashki, a professor of constitutional law and former member of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, who earlier this year had been expelled due to his disagreement with the party line, was chosen as PM for the short period of two and a half months until the parliamentary elections in October.

The other 16 Ministers were chosen from various areas. Among the new cabinet members are many relatively young entrepreneurs, political scientists and even an athlete (in charge of the Ministry of Culture and Sports). The main objective of the nominations is to maintain stability in the political system as well as a member of NATO.

Furthermore, after an indecisive period regarding the nomination of the European Commissioner, it has been leaked that the new caretaker government will most likely propose Kristalina Georgieva, former Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

Flooding: Over 100 buildings collapse

Only a few weeks after the last heavy rains and floods, several parts of Bulgaria brace themselves forthe fight against the elements once more. In the northern Bulgarian town of Misia over 100 buildings collapsed, leaving families and especially elderly people homeless. Currently, 800 people had to be evacuated.

As before, measures to evacuate the citizens of the town are ing too much time and partially rely on donations, although the government had decided to support the affected regions with 25 million Euros in aid. Ironically, the high level of damage the catastrophe has caused is due to illegal deforestation, leaving the soil unstable and incapable of absorbing the heavy rain. Furthermore, many buildings in the region do not meet the minimum criteria of architectural norms, because construction law is frequently violated.

The situation remains tense. Currently, 17 rivers are being observed, since their water level is critically high. Especially in the North-Western area that had been hit the hardest, even more rain is expected for the next days.

Over 110 million Euros for public health sector

Because thepublic health sector leaves many patients without proper treatment, the government has decided to invest over 110 million Euros in medical staff and new equipment.

Nevertheless, the decision is being criticized, since in order to finance the health sector, an overall budget cut of five per cent is necessary. Considering the ongoing crisis of the Corporate Commercial Bank and the financial mismanagement of recent months, which led to a highly difficult financial situation, the lack of alternatives is worrying the citizens. The cuts will especially affect the Ministry of the Interior most likely as well the salaries of police personnel.

Other elaborations on the budget have been blocked by the centre-right party GERB and the far-right ATAKA. The necessary reform in the health sector will not be possible in the near future, according to the resigned Minister of Health, Tanya Andreeva.

BU- 2014-14- National Assembly of Bulgaria
Source: Raycho Penchev | CC BY 2.0

National Assembly of Bulgaria

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Corporative Commercial Bank (KTB)
Georgi Bliznashki
Kristalinia Georgieva
Rossen Plevneliev
Tanya Andreeva

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