Bulgaria's Finance Minister Assuages Fiscal Reserve Fears

Finance | October 25, 2010, Monday // 10:09|  views

Bulgaria's Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, is confident he is leading the country's fiscal policy in the right direction. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, assuaged fears the fiscal reserve is depleted by saying the current BGN 6.5 B are BGN 2 B above the legally mandated minimum.

In a Monday interview for the Bulgaria daily "24 Chassa" (24 Hours), Djankov rejects rumors the State is nearing bankruptcy and the money for salaries and retirement pensions is exhausted by saying there are enough funds not only for this year, but for 2011 as well.

The Finance Minister further states he is not worried or embarrassed by the numerous calls for his resignation, explaining this is the destiny of everyone on his post, who tries to be frugal in times of crisis.

Djankov further points out he is not avoiding responsibility and is certain the country is moving in the right direction, giving as an example the Japanese credit rating agency JCR, which on Friday affirmed its BBB rating on Bulgaria's foreign currency long-term senior debts and BBB+ rating on the country's local currency long-term senior debts.

The Minister further says the cabinet will decide by the end of the year if private retirement funds would begin making payments to people eligible for early retirement and, more importantly, if these funds have enough money to offer decent pensions. The second alternative, according to Djankov, is for the contributions collected – about BGN 80 M/year – to be deposited with the National Social Security Institute (NOI).

The top financier in Bulgaria further brags of his great work relation with Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, saying they speak on the phone 3-4 times/day and meet in person at least once/day including for longer talks over the weekend.

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Tags: JCR, credit rating, Bulgaria, deficit deficit, growth rate, GDP, FDI, currency board, BNB, NOI, retirement funds, early retirement, finance minister, Simeon Djankov, fiscal reserve


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