Bulgaria Ruling GERB under Fire from Opposition, Allies

Business | April 14, 2010, Wednesday // 14:16|  views

The co-Chair of the Blue Coalition and leader of DSB party, Ivan Kostov, says the ruling GERB fear of real reform would lead to a huge budget deficit. Photo by BGNES

The first session of the Bulgarian Parliament after the Easter break began Wednesday with staunch criticism of the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party from both the opposition and the right wing.

The co-Chair of the Blue Coalition and leader of the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) party, Ivan Kostov, accused GERB of backing off from the much needed reform, saying the proposed package of 60 anti-crisis measures lacks strategic goals and shows fear from real changes. Kostov warned that the budget deficit would reach staggering dimensions.

Kostov was joined later by his Blue Coalition partner, Martin Dimitrov, leader of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) for a briefing for the media. Dimitrov said Bulgaria is following in Greece's footsteps and GERB should not be supported right now, warning they face a real danger to become an extinct party similarly to the National Movement for Stability and Prosperity (NMSP) of former Tsar and Prime Minister, Simeon Saxe-Coburg.

Lyutvi Mestan, from the opposition ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), stated from the parliamentary tribune GERB is quickly losing the electoral trust by blaming others instead of seeking reasons for the situation among themselves.

According to Mestan, the ruling party's claims the staggering budget deficit of BGN 1.4 B since the beginning of 2010 is the fault of the previous cabinet and the contracts it concluded in 2008 and 2009 are just an attempt to mislead people.

The DPS MP was adamant the reforms are a must and cannot be compensated or replaced with the effort to combat corruption and organized crime, even though the latter is also needed.

The leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and ex PM, Sergey Stanishev, reminded that the deadline of the first anti-crisis plan of the cabinet is fast approaching and insisted the MPS discuss the measures in plenary hall. (The discussion was dismissed recently by the ruling GERB as unnecessary.)

Stanishev also forecast a huge budget deficit and blamed GERB of being busy only with PR actions.

The leader of the far-right, nationalist Ataka party, Volen Siderov, was the only one to offer support for GERB saying the attacks are unfair and the cabinet of PM, Boyko Borisov, has been busy in the last 8 months trying to counter damages and recover losses caused by its predecessors.

Meanwhile, the MP from BSP and former Economy Minister, Rumen Ovcharov, declared Bulgaria never had a Finance Minister like the current one, Simeon Djankov, who had been covering up information about the budget to such extend.

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Tags: anti-crisis measure, anti-crisis package, Simeon Djankov, Ivan Kostov, Blue Coalition, Martin Dimitrov


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