Bulgarian President to Veto Budget Revision - Report

Finance | July 30, 2013, Tuesday // 13:07|  views

Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, photo by BGNES

Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, is very close to vetoing the controversial actualization of State budget 2013, according to undisclosed sources, close to his office.

The sources have told the Bulgarian Trud (Labor) daily that the President's economy advisors were already writing statements on the necessity to revise the budget prepared by Simeon Djankov, Finance Minister in the previous Cabinet of the center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB.

The current, Socialist-endorsed Cabinet of former Finance Minister and now Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, and Finance Minister, Petar Chobanov, have included in the update plans to take a new loan in the amount of BGN 1 B to be used as a buffer for the fiscal reserve in 2014, when Bulgaria must make new payments on its foreign debt. Other funds will be slated for the overdue money for the business and for social measures.

GERB and the recently-established right-leaning Reformist Block firmly oppose the revision.

On Monday, Radan Kanev, leader of Democrats for Strong Bulgaria, DSB, which is part of the block, called for a public debate on the issue.

The Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finances is examining the draft budget update at second reading Tuesday, after it was passed in plenary hall at first reading last Thursday.

The motion was backed by 115 MPs, with 88 against and 10 abstentions.

Last Wednesday, Bulgarian lawmakers were forced to postpone the first reading vote the draft budget 2013 update in the aftermath of clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters.

The latter sat on the pavement and erected barricades near the Parliament late Tuesday into Wednesday to prevent lawmakers and ministers discussing in 3 committees the budget update from leaving the building. Media reporters inside also ended up being under siege.

Some 18 people, protesters and riot police, were injured, but no one was seriously harmed.

This prompted the Speaker of the Parliament, Mihail Mikov, to call on colleagues to not show up for work on Wednesday for safety reasons.

It is expected that the final vote on the revision will be held by the end of the week. After that, the amendments must be published in the State Gazette within a 15-day deadline. This is also the deadline for the President to issue a decree approving this publishing or to veto them.

Tuesday marks day 47 in Bulgaria of protests against the Cabinet Oresharski.

After the clashes, the rallies have been once again peaceful.

They were triggered by the appointment of a murky politician and media mogul to lead the State Agency for National Security (DANS).

The protesters were not appeased by the subsequent cancellation of the decision and went on to demand the resignation of the Socialist-led cabinet over ties with oligarchs.

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Tags: parliament, sofia, clashes, riot police, Delyan Peevski, State Agency for National Security, protests, anti-government, revision, blockade, Plamen Oresharski, actualization, lawmakers, GDP, GERB, Boyko Borisov, budget, 2013, Rosen Plevneliev, president, Petar Chobanov, Simeon Djankov, DSB, Radan Kanev, DANS, protesters, parliament, Mihail Mikov, Bulgaria, Bulgarian


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