Reuters: Elections Test Bulgarians' LoyaltiesPolitics | March 26, 2017, Sunday // 21:49| views
Bulgarians are voting for snap, contentious parliamentary elections which are a test of their loyalty to their partners in the European Union, reported Reuters.
Contenders leading in popularity promise to continue Euro Atlantc policy or improve relations with Russia – even at the price of disappointing leading countries in the EU and creating another problem in Europe after Brexit.
The change in the government in Sofia may come several months before the country assumes the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union on January 1, 2018.
“If Bulgaria begins to refuse to participate in several integration policies of the EU by pointing out specific interests and privileged relations with Russia, this will not only push it to Europe’s periphery but into another orbit altogether,” stated Boryana Dimitrova, a sociologist with Alpha Research.
Commenting on the latest forecast of the sociological agency, she said that forming the new Parliament will be very, very difficult.
While reminding that the country is the poorest member of the EU and with widespread corruption ten years after joining the bloc, Reuters adds that Bulgaria remains a popular destination for hundreds of thousands of Russian tourists. Not only tourism but energy are strongly dependent on Russia, adds the agency.
Leading parties propose sticking to fiscal discipline or a quick increase in wages and pensions via increasing public spending.
But, given the fact that none of them can win independently in order to govern by itself, they will have to look for coalition partners, including parties encouraging xenophobia and nationalism, added Reuters.