Can you name a political formation "Stand up! Out with the thugs!"? The Central Election Committee has doubts. The newcomers, who are part of the organizing committee of last year's anti-government protests, want to use their street slogans as a name. It is still not clear if the rules permit this.
But what's in a name? For example, the plan for 12 bln. lv from the EU hasn't changed in name but in substance.
Less renovation, more business grants and hydrogen
The new Recovery and Resilience plan of Bulgaria was published online in a revised version. The new plan differs substantially from the first, presented last November. Money for retrofitting old buildings has gone down by a billion leva (500 mln.euro) and new trains don't even get a nod. Money for irrigation systems, which was supposed to total 800 mln. lv, is now slashed in half.
There will be three new funds for financing green energy and energy efficiency for the business, totaling 2.1 bln lv (more than 1 bln. euro). Hydrogen is included as an investment priority with 500 mln.lv which marks the first time Bulgaria puts this on paper.
Sofia subway is also in the plan with 360 mln.lv, probably replacing other railway projects.
Only a negative PCR test gets you into Bulgaria
Could antigen tests, which are quicker (and cheaper), be used to prove that new arrivals are Covid-free? Health minister Kostadin Angelov dismissed this option today. Angelov also clarified that Bulgaria will keep using the AstraZeneca vaccine on people aged 55 or over, because "that is the clear guidance of the European medicines agency".
100 mln.euro per week losses
This is what the Bulgarian economy loses each week because of the coronavirus lockdown and other measures, claims the trade credit insurer Euler Hermes. According to their analysis, EU governments will deal with the economic effects of the pandemic through huge fiscal expansions - meaning direct payments and other state expenditures. This means more debt.
The slow pace of vaccinations does not bode well for a quick recovery and will have political and social costs, warns Euler Hermes.