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Bulgarian report Bulgarian report
by Euro Reporter
2011-06-06 07:56:04
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Threats of snap elections are dramatic Play

There are no conditions in Bulgaria to have snapped parliamentary elections or to topple the cabinet in a no-confidence vote. The comments were made by Bulgarian political scientists Sunday, cited by the Bulgarian news agency, BTA. Expert, Antoniy Todorov, says he does not believe the main opposition formations – the Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, and the ethnic Turkish, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, really plan to dismiss the cabinet, but the opposition rather wants to demonstrate it is capable to run the agenda, and put on the table the topics of the political debate.

According to Todorov, none of the main parties, including the ruling, centre-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, is ready to face early elections, and they lack alternatives in the rule of the country and in a stronger team. The expert says such elections would be really in the forecast if the approval ratings of GERB crash or if there is large dissent in their parliamentary group, pointing out neither seems likely. Political scientist, Rumyana Kolarova, is of the opinion BSP and DPS want to make their second no-confidence vote stronger and "more colourful," but ads "it would be a miracle if this vote leads to early elections."

"The no-confidence votes in the Bulgarian Parliament are purely symbolic and never topple governments. This is a tradition – the vote gives the opposition an opportunity to voice its discontent with those ruling the country," Kolarova explains. She further says that no confidence votes in the past have resulted in a more united cabinet. The expert compares requests for holding snap parliamentary elections in the fall, along with presidential and local ones, known in Bulgaria as "3 in 1" to a dramatic play where actors exchange cues.

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Raise of minimum wage


Bulgaria’s minimum month salary will be increased from BGN 240 to BGN 270, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov declared on Sunday. He thus put an end to the speculations about whether the government will find money and/or is willing to take such a move demanded by syndicates since last year, but generally opposed by Finance Minister Simeon Djankov who is sticking to an austerity program.

“We’ve completed today our calculations, and as of Wednesday, the Cabinet will start the procedure for increasing the minimum wage, which will last several weeks. However, Dankov is already ready with the estimates,” the PM explained. “As I have been repeating for several years – as soon as the economy starts overcoming the crisis, so that we don’t go bankrupt like the neighbouring states, and so there is no populism – unlike with Stanishev and Co., our revenues allow an increase in the minimum wage. It will take several weeks, because it also has to be approved by the Parliament,” Borisov said referring to his predecessor, Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Sergey Stanishev. The Socialists have been notorious for increasing pensions as a pre-election move, and many analysts have accused Borisov of intending to do the same.

As far as retirement pensions are concerned, Borisov stated that a decision will be made in 10 days on how to go about raising them because the Cabinet of the centre-right party GERB is concerned that it is upping the pensions right before the presidential and local elections in the fall of 2011 in order to boost its electoral support.

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Customs detain synthetic drugs worth BGN 0.5 M


Bulgarian Customs agents at the Sofia International Airport detained Sunday synthetic drugs valued at BGN 0.5 M, accompanied by fake certificates. The information was reported by the Bulgarian Customs Agency. During a routine inspection of express courier shipments, the Customs employees checked a package, sent from China, holding two envelopes with 1.2 kg total of white powder, declared as "methyl cellulose," with an analysis certificate and an invoice, confirming the contents correspond to what has been declared.

Tests in the Central Customs Lab showed the substance was two synthetic types of illegal narcotics, which can be ordered online for EUR 2 per gram, and go for the price of BGN 50 per gram in Bulgaria after being mixed with other drugs. The profit is estimated at BGN 45 per gram and the busted substance is enough to make over 10 000 dozes.

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Recycling business rises against 'Anti-Metal Theft' law


Bulgaria's draft Waste Management Act, which is supposed to prevent rampant metal theft, has come under vigorous fire by the Bulgarian Recycling Association. The new law will force 1 000 SMEs into bankruptcy, which have acquired unlimited licenses for trading with ferrous and non-ferrous metals, costing the economy 14 000 jobs, according to the Bulgarian Recycling Association.

The draft act stipulates that depots for the purchase of scrap can be located only on municipal grounds within logistics or production facilities. According to both the respective business sector data and government data, only about 30% of the municipalities have proper resources to meet this requirement. 180 municipalities are expected to be left without depots for the buying out of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, which is discrimination, according to the Bulgarian Recycling Association.

The BRA further complains that the law will oblige the Bulgarian citizens to turn in their metal waste to the municipal depots for free, while paying the transportation costs and waste taxes, which curb their property rights. The Association states that it absolutely supports the legal provisions for the ban of trade with cables, railway rails, and other metal elements that are part of crucial infrastructure by physical persons, plus a number of other guarantees to curb abuses. However, it slams the draft legislations as an experiment that has not been thought all the way through because of the municipal depot requirements.


      
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