Bulgaria Opens Public Debate on Financial Stability Pact

Finance | February 17, 2011, Thursday // 20:48|  views

"With these measures we want to show the world that Bulgaria will be the country with the most stable financial and tax policy in Europe," Finance Minister Simeon Djankov said on Thursday. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's government plans to begin next week a public debate on proposed constitutional amendments designed to bolster and guarantee the country's financial stability, the finance minister has said.

"With these measures we want to show the Bulagrian citizens, the Europeans and the world that Bulgaria will be the country with the most stable financial and tax policy in Europe," Minister Simeon Djankov said on Thursday in the town of Haskovo during a meeting with the local business.

The measures termed "Financial Stability Pact" were announced by Djankov earlier this month at a lecture at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia following the US tradition in which crucial policy speeches are delivered at academic institutions.

The three main pillars of the pact include capping the deficit at less than 3% of gross domestic product, limiting government expenditures to 37% of GDP and that requiring corporate and income tax changes be approved by two-thirds of Parliament. The rules, if adopted, would come into effect in 2013.

Three-quarters of the deputies, or 180 lawmakers, must back the proposal in three separate votes on different days, but Djankov is confident that he will secure the needed majority.

Borisov's minority government has 116 lawmakers and may gain the support of two smaller groups that have backed it previously: the Attack party, with 20 lawmakers, and the so- called Blue Coalition of the Union of Democratic Forces and Democrats for Strong Bulgaria, which has 14 seats.

Djankov may also enlist the support of some of the 13 independent lawmakers, who left various parliamentary groups. Still he will need about 20 votes from the lawmakers within the two opposition parties, the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights, to succeed in pushing through the pact.

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Tags: QMV, qualified majority voting, Referendum, constitution, Stability and Growth Pact, budget deficit, taxes, VAT, Djankov, Simeon, finance minister, Financial Stability Pact, New Bulgarian University, state spending, Bulgaria, government


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