Bulgaria PM Borisov Happy with First 100 Days in OfficeDomestic | November 1, 2009, Sunday // 14:24| views
"We did a very good job,” says Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Photo by BGNES
Roughly one hundred days after taking office, Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has assessed as “very good” the work of his cabinet so far.
"We did a very good job,” Boyko Borisov said as he unveiled a new kindergarten in the village of Dolni Bogrov to the enthusiastic applauses of the local people.
Borisov singled out as the three most important achievements of his government the crack down on swap deals with state land, the restored trust of the European partners and the consequent unblocking of EU funds, as well as the launch of procedures for key projects across the country.
The statement comes on the heels of a scathing article in the Austrian Die Presse newspaper, which said that Borisov is mostly remarkable for attacking the previous government of the Socialist Party, and that even after 100 days in power he has not stopped fighting with his predecessor Sergey Stanishev.
The article, entitled "Much Ado, Little Action", focuses on the scandals with Bulgaria’s State National Security Agency DANS, and the recently leaked secret report.
The Austrian paper stresses that Borisov’s allies – conservatives around the former Prime Minister Ivan Kostov have started to distance themselves slightly from the new government as they believe it did not have a clearly formulated program, whereas the Parliament is working rather slowly. Only the nationalist Ataka party is said to be supporting Borisov unconditionally.
Die Presse also mentions Borisov’s promise that three highways will be completed in Bulgaria by the end of his term, and that the trade unions in the country have declared themselves against the government’s 2010 draft budget. At the same time, the fate of the large Russian energy projects in Bulgaria is still undecided.
“One hundred days after he assumed power, it is still unclear whether Borisov will be just a media performer, or a really successful Prime Minister,” the article of Die Presse concludes.
Latest opinion polls show that the approval rating of Bulgaria's new centre-right government continues to be very high. Support for the ruling GERB party of Prime Minister Boiko Borisov rose to 52 % in October, up 12.3 percentage points from the results of the July general election.
GERB swept the elections in July after promising to take steps to rein in endemic corruption and crime. The government aims for a balanced budget next year but has pencilled in a deficit of 0.7 % of GDP. Yet it was forced to abandon plans to increase alcohol taxes which it had hoped would raise an extra USD 45 M a year for the health and pension systems.