Bulgaria Ministers Reveal Huge Deficits Left by Stanishev Govt

Domestic | October 11, 2009, Sunday // 19:00|  views

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (right) and his Deputy, Interior Minister Tsvetanov (left), were visibly agitated while explaining the enormity of the deficit left by the Stanishev government during Sunday's press conference. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s Ministers revealed Sunday night the large-scale deficits that their Ministries were facing which they said have resulted from the actions and abuses of their predecessors.

The Bulgarian government held a 3,5-hour working meeting Sunday in order to consider the draft of the 2010 State Budget presented briefly by Finance Minister Simeon Djankov.

Bulgaria’s Labor Minister, Totyu Mladenov, said the previous administration committed abuses with BGN 7,4 M which had been destined for disabled people. In his words, 87% of the Ministry’s 2009 have been spent already, and it already has a deficit of BGN 97 M, and will end 2009 with a deficit of BGN 385 M.

Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov announced the situation at his institution was really grave as the former administration had signed framework agreements for agricultural payments and subsidies worth BGN 18 M but the Ministry did not have the money in its account. On top of that, starting December 1, 2009, the Ministry is supposed to start paying out subsidies to farmers worth about BGN 211 M. Naydenov said it would be hard for the government to find the money but that it would manage to do so.

Foreign Minister Rumiana Jeleva (who is nominated to become Bulgaria’s new EU Commissioner) said the financial situation of her institution was bad. She said she terminated all privileges that top diplomats received through the Diplomatic Club of the Foreign Ministry including health procedures of former EU Affairs Minister, Gergana Passy, Ambassador to Slovenia (and brother of new UNESCO head Irina Bokova) Filip Bokov, and a list of 36 other names.

Environment Minister Nona Karadzhova said the previous administration of her Ministry had spent over BGN 1 B on projects that were “neither environmental, nor socially responsible”. In her words, this money could have been used to build waste depots for whose lack Bulgaria is about to be penalized by the European Commission.

Bulgaria’s Regional Development Minister, Rosen Plevneliev, announced his Ministry faced a deficit of BGN 350 M. The Ministry owes BGN 200 M to municipal authorities under contracts which the previous government has made without having the necessary funds.

“The Culture Ministry has money only for salaries, and will not be able to carry out any activities and projects by the end of the year. The Ministry has been used as a source of government jobs for party functionaries,” Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov said.

Justice Minister Margarita Popova said that in the current situation she would have to lay off about 1 000 people in order to save enough money; at the same time, however, her institution employs only 272 people.

Bulgaria’s Health Minister, Bozhidar Nanev, said his team had uncovered cases in which hospital directors literally stole money, and that they would be referred to the Prosecutor’s Office.

The Sports Ministry, which is a descendant of the State Agency for Youth and Sports, faces a deficit of BGN 1,6 M. The Defense Ministry, however, faces an estimated deficit of BGN 350 M.

"If the Socialists are let in the desert, there will be a deficit of sand there," Defense Minister Nikolay Mladenov said regarding the previous government of Socialist Sergey Stanishev.

Mladenov said on October 31, 2009, his Ministry had to make a payment of BGN 19,55 M to Belgium for the purchase of a second-hand frigate. At the same time, however, the Defense Ministry had only BGN 1 000 left in its account.

As an example of the violations of the former administration, Mladenov revealed a deal for the sale of real estate property of the military plant Terem Jsc worth BGN 50 M, of which the Ministry was supposed to received BGN 20 M but in fact got only BGN 5 000.

Transport Minister Alexander Tsvetkov said the situation at the state-owned railway companies BDZ and NKZI was extremely bad; BDZ already has owes BGN 154 M to creditors, and the combined deficit of the two companies is going to reach BGN 489 M by the end of 2009.

Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov announced a deficit of BGN 58 M. He said there would be no layoffs in his institution but the 3 000 vacancies for policemen and other staff would not be filled as the Ministry could not afford it.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said his predecessor Socialist Sergey Stanishev should be ashamed of what he had caused to Bulgaria. He invited Stanishev and all former Ministers to a debate in the Parliament in order to explain how they left their institutions with such deficits.

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Tags: deficit, budget deficit, GERB government, Sergey Stanishev, three-way coalition, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, Environment Minister, Nona Karadzhova, Foreign Minister, Rumiana Jeleva, Nikolay Mladenov, Defense Minister, Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Culture Minister, Vezhdi Rashidov, Sports Minister, Totyu Mladenov, Labor Minister, Transport Minister, Alexander Tsvetkov, BDZ, Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, Justice Minister, Margarita Popova


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