Bulgarian FinMin: Bending to Union Pressure Was Mistake

Finance | December 17, 2011, Saturday // 13:11|  views

Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, vows to stay on the course of reforms. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, declared Saturday that it was fair to implement reforms after the conclusion of the election in the country.

In an interview for Darik radio, Djankov assessed "bending before labor union pressure" as a mistake, saying it had delayed even further both the retirement reform and the reform in the heavily-indebted State Railways company BDZ Holding.

He blamed himself for yielding to syndicates' pressure last year when negotiating with them the increase of retirement age and ex Transport Minister, Alexander Tsvetkov, for lacking the courage to initiate the BDZ reform.

The Minister forecasted that the much needed reform in the health care sector will be implemented during the certain second term in office of the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, because there was not enough time left until the end of the first one.

Djankov further admitted to another mistake – a delay in redirecting funds from the State budget from the security sector to education and culture, but stressed that under his leadership budget 2012 will be rebalanced in this direction for the first time.

"Police and defense opened finally the door for it; last year I tried, but the door was closed under my nose," the Deputy PM explained.

He informed that PM Boyko Borisov had already received the analysis of the proposal to make State servants pay their own insurance contributions, reiterating that none of them will be placed in a disadvantaged situation, but the move will change the "philosophy of the budget," and make it clear exactly how much the security sector is costing the Treasury.

Djankov vowed measures to encourage local production.

"Until now we could not really focus on this over the crisis, but now the cabinet will work seriously on finding out how to boost production," said the Minister.

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Tags: sectors, health care, Boyko Borisov, Alexander Tsvetkov, syndicates, culture, education, sector, security, budget, BDZ, Retirement age, reforms, Simeon Djankov, finance minister, GERB


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