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Bulgarian report Bulgarian report
by Euro Reporter
2011-10-19 07:11:35
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PM makes final call on sacking methane hike

There will be definitely no excise duty on methane in Bulgaria over the fact it would lead to a price hike of many other services which the country cannot afford in times of economic crisis. The final decision of the cabinet was announced Monday for the media by Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov. Borisov stated that the excise idea of his Deputy and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, was a good one, but cannot be currently realized over the crisis.

"This is why I have told all my ministers that when they think out loud this leads to horrible political conclusions," the PM said, adding he was ultimately responsible for the rule of the country and taxing everything would lead to a stronger budget, but also to impoverishment of Bulgarians. Borisov confirmed the budget will be debated after the October 23 presidential and local elections and the possible runoff. The plans were for the methane price to go up on January 1 over the introduction of the excise duty. The first estimates showed this increase will amount to BGN 0.7 per kilogram, which would lead to the increase of heating prices in the upcoming winter.

Djankov also said earlier Monday, just days before debates on the budget that the decision on methane excise has not been finalized and if "this is not the right moment, the excise could be delayed." Borisov and Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, cut the ribbon of the repaired water-main network in the village of Gabra, the municipality of Elin Pelin, near the capital Sofia. The BGN 5 M funding was provided through EU financing.


Katunitsa shaken by new protest rally

Residents of the village of Katunitsa near Bulgaria's second largest city of Plovdivhave staged a new protest rally Sunday. The demonstrators have blocked the main road to Plovdiv in sign of outrage over the inactivity of the authorities and marched in memory of the two teenage boys who died at the end of September when clashes erupted in the village. Katunitsa's resident’s demands include speeding up procedures and pressing serious charges against notorious Roma boss Kiril Rashkov AKA Tsar Kiro and his family; keeping Rashkov and his grandson in jail.

They blame media for providing a cover up for the responsible institutions and the authorities for using media outlets to stir useless noise around the illegal weapons that have been discovered in one of Tsar Kiro's houses in the village. They vow to remain unwavering in their demands. Hundreds have gathered to remember Angel and Pavel. Another peaceful march is going to take place Monday.

Kiril Rashkov and one of his grandsons are behind bars on charges of making death threats to Katunitsa residents, involving Angel Petrov, 19, who was run over and killed by a van driven by one of Rashkov's associates on September 23. The incident triggered large-scale protests across the country, some of which turned to clashes between ethnic Bulgarians and Roma. Hundreds were arrested. Tsar Kiro was detained on September 28. He is also probed for large-scale tax evasion. In addition to Angel, 16-year-old Pavel also became a casualty of the clashes. He passed out during the turmoil in Katunitsa and died in the hospital. Pavel had a heart transplant done several years ago.


Ruling party accused of physical violence against opposition local runners

Bulgaria's ruling centrist-right GERB has resorted to threats, physical violence and pressure against oppositional candidates ahead the upcoming local elections in the country, the right-wing Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) have alarmed. "Fear had never reached such levels before," DSB leader Ivan Kostov stated Monday. A total of 7 signals for violations on behalf of GERB have been received over the weekend in the right-wing party's headquarters, DSB campaign head Veselin Metodiev has added. The European People's Party has already been informed about the violations.

A DSB mayor runner has been beaten in her own apartment, party officials have revealed, as cited by the BGNES news agency. DSB have not named the candidate in question. Another DSB mayor bidder, Troyan's Boyko Padarski, has been threatened by the incumbent mayor of the town, the party also revealed on Monday. "The party's leadership is extremely worried. I am personally dismayed that a person can be beaten in their own home," Metodiev commented.

According to Kostov, people are afraid to even name the local tyrants across the country out of fear they may be repressed. Upon asked whether his party would support GERB's presidential runner Rosen Plevneliev during the second tour of Sunday's presidential elections, Kostov deemed it highly unlikely.

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