Bulgaria Parliament Majority Snubs Anti-crisis Measures Debate

Business | April 1, 2010, Thursday // 15:42|  views

Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, told the Members of the Parliament the GERB cabinet will make Bulgaria a prosperous country despite the crisis. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, presented before the Parliament Thursday the package of anti-crisis measures agreed on by the cabinet, the labor unions and the employers.

Djankov began with the announcement that the number of unemployed in Bulgaria is down by over 4 000 people in March for the first time since December 2008, which according to the Minister is a sign the economy is beginning to recover.

Djankov presented the measures aiming at supporting employment, households, the business and the State finances, while stressing particularly on the temporary restrictions on increasing prices of basic goods and services, eliminating the threshold for unemployment benefits and making those benefits 60% of the income before the layoff.

The Minister also pointed out the intentions to privatize minority shares of State companies through the Stock Exchange, sale of emissions units according to the Kyoto Protocol, reducing administrative expenditures by 10%.

The package further includes a plan to pay all overdue amounts to businesses for completed public tenders by the end of June 2010, refunding the Value Added Tax (VAT) to businesses by the legal deadline.

According to Djankov, the measures will help collect the BGN 1.6 B needed for Budget 2010, but it would have been better if the previous cabinet did undertake such measures as early as the fall of 2008 instead of “hiding under the covers.”

“We constantly discover expenses contracted by the ex cabinet without financing, aiming at personal gains, so additional measures might become necessary. Our cabinet will give Bulgaria the chance to become a prosperous country,” Djankov told the Members of the Parliament, who voted against the proposal of the opposition to debate the anti-crisis plan.

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Tags: anti-crisis measure, anti-crisis package, anti-crisis program, Council for Tripartite Cooperation, trade unions, syndicates, government, Cabinet, parliament


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