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Bulgarian report
by Euro Reporter
2014-11-19 09:49:43
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Bulgaria Interior Minister Backs Idea to Set up European Prosecutor’s Office

Bulgaria's Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov on Tuesday supported the idea of establishing European Prosecutor's Office responsible for combating fraud and misappropriation of EU funds. Bulgaria has a track record of mismanagement of EU funds, which had resulted in the suspension of funding under several operational programmes.

Following a meeting in Sofia with Giovanni Kessler, Director General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Vuchkov also announced that the Protection of EU Financial Interests Directorate (AFCOS) will remain within the Interior Ministry despite forthcoming legislative changes.

Kessler praised the commitment of Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry to combat fraud and cooperate closely with OLAF. Vuchkov also expressed his content that the new European Commission, and in particular Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President and Commissioner on Budget and Human Resources, are fully committed to combating fraud involving EU funds.


Bulgaria to raise 1.3 bln euros in foreign debt this year

Bulgaria wants to raise about 1.3 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in bridge financing from foreign banks by the end of the year, to be refinanced by global bonds in 2015, three sources familiar with the plans told Reuters. The Balkan country, one of EU's least indebted members, needs to raise 4.5 billion levs ($2.9 billion) in 2014 to plug its budget gap and prop up the banking system after the collapse of Corporate Commercial Bank. Foreign banks including Citigroup and Unicredit , Societe Generale, Deutsche Bank and HSBC have shown interest in providing bridge financing, the sources told Reuters. Other potential bidders for the loan, which should be agreed in the next two to three weeks, include Intesa Sanpaolo , BNP Paribas, KBC and Raiffeisen , two of the sources said.

A third source also said JP Morgan and Bank of America could take part, adding that the finance ministry is likely to name the banks later this week. "The bridge financing amount is a serious sum for commercial banks, so it will be a syndicated effort by four or five banks," one industry source said, declining to be identified. "The loan is necessary, as there is not enough time to tap global markets this year, but the finance ministry will probably have to do that in the first half of next year," the source said.

The government plans to raise another 2 billion levs on the local market. Bulgaria needs to lend its Deposit Insurance Fund some 2 billion levs to cover guaranteed deposits at Corpbank. Another 1 billion levs will be used to refinance government support to First Investment Bank, the third biggest lender, which was caught up in the panic. Bulgaria's new government needs parliament's approval to raise the deficit target to 3.7 percent and raise new debt. Parliament is expected to take an initial vote on later on Tuesday.


Bulgaria's environment ministry warns of rising water levels in rivers

Bulgaria's Environment Ministry warns of expected rise of water levels in the rivers, reports Dnevnik.bg.

Due to expected heavy rains, starting on Tuesday evening in western Bulgaria and moving to eastern Bulgaria on Wednesday, the ministry warns that water levels in the rivers of Danube, Black Sea and western and eastern catchment areas are expected to rise.

According to data of the early warning system, the water in the Tundzha river at the town of Elhovo, has already reached almost critical levels and is expected to rise further.

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