Bulgaria President to Veto 2016 Budget If Defense Spending Not Increased

Defense | October 23, 2015, Friday // 14:27|  views

Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev. Photo by BGNES

It will be a "blatant political irresponsibility" if defense expenditures for 2016 remain the same compared to this year, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has said.

In an interview with Bulgarska Armiya ("Bulgarian Army") newspaper published on the Presidency's website, he has called on Bulgarian politicians to hold on to their NATO commitments and to the decisions approved by Bulgaria's Consultative Council for National Security earlier this year.

"The global geopolitical order has drastically changed. We have an unprecedented number of crises, many of which are in immediate proximity to our borders," he has explained, adding that requires an "adequate and nationally responsible" reaction.

In his words, Bulgaria should also be an active contributor to NATO's capabilities along with other member states.

"I expect that the defense budget will not be less than 1.33% of GDP. I expect defense to be a clear priority for the government in 2016," Plevneliev has made clear.

He has referred to his right to "impose a veto if politicians do not deliver on the commitments they took."

NATO member states agreed last year to gradually boost defense spending over the course of a decade.

Commenting on the forthcoming referendum on electronic voting that will be held this week, along with local elections, Plevneliev has opined that e-voting will "contribute substantially to the democratization of the electoral process," but will only be complementary to traditional voting.

"Electronic voting is the future and it will be introduced, sooner or later," the President has added.

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Tags: Rosen Plevneliev, defense budget, Plevneliev, NATO, Referendum, electronic voting


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