Bulgaria Scraps Fighter Jets Buy for Culture's Sake

Domestic | January 4, 2012, Wednesday // 17:38|  views

Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, says education and culture take priority over fighter jets. File photo

Bulgaria will not purchase new military aircraft in times of crisis and unless the problems in the education and culture sectors are solved.

The statement was made Wednesday by Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov. Speaking in the Black Sea city of Burgas, where he inspected and officially opened the renovated building of the city's theater, Borisov said there are a number of theater buildings in the country, which have not been repaired in the last 60 years.

His words came on the heels of unofficial information, published by the Bulgarian Standard daily that during his forthcoming visit to Berlin on January 17 and 18, he will discuss with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, an offer for the purchase and the delivery of second-hand Eurofighter jets.

Germany is one of the four countries manufacturing the jets – one of the most modern fighters in the world. Last year, Bulgaria's Defense Ministry requested a price offer from all of them for the purchase of 8 Eurofighters.

Defense Minister, Anyu Angelov, said in a recent interview that the public procurement tender is postponed for 2013. The flight resource of the MiG-29 Bulgaria possesses expires in 2015.

"We have very good MiGs, in excellent condition, and great helicopters. With all my respect to military manufacturers, we invest our money in science, culture, archeology, so one of the most difficult talks with Merkel will be to explain that we cannot come up with EUR 150 M to pay for those jets in times of crisis," Borisov said in Burgas Wednesday.

He was accompanied by Deputy PM and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, Regional Minister, Lilyana Pavlova, and Culture Minister, Vezhdi Rashidov.

Djankov announced that the cabinet will slate BGN 120 000 for archeological sites on the southern Black Sea coast for initial research and after an assessment, additional funds will be granted to the most promising ones.

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Tags: Angela Merkel, MiG-29, defense, Anyu Angelov, Vezhdi Rashidov, Lilyana Pavlova, Simeon Djankov, Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister, Eurofighter, jets, fighter jets, Eurofighters, education, culture


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