Wednesday was dominated by Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandakova's statement that the death by electrocution of a 16-year-old boy on Sunday stemmed from negligence by the electricity company CEZ and the administration of the district of Triaditsa, where the tragedy happened. CEZ had apparently connected the illegal food stall to the killer cable despite the kiosk lacking the required papers. Yet it is still unclear which institution within the municipal authorities should have been responsible for removing the kiosk.
Meanwhile, controversial politician and media mogul Delyan Peevski, from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), won the highest number of nominations to become Member of Parliament from the party structures of MRF, Capital weekly wrote, quoting the party's press center. Apparently, MRF activists are happy with Mr Peevski's record during the 2017-2021 mandate, even though he only appeared in Parliament four times.
Parliament overturns Presidential veto on a "second" Prosecutor General
The Bulgarian National Assembly voted on Wednesday to overturn the veto of President Rumen Radev, who dismissed a proposal that the State Prosecution appoint a special "second" Prosecutor General. The new appointee's sole responsibility would be to monitor and potentially investigate the current Prosecutor General. The proposal, which came from the ruling GERB party to counter protesters' claims that the Prosecutor General remains unchecked, was dismissed as absurd and extravagant by Bulgarian lawyers and the rule of law watchdog of the Council of Europe, the Venice Commission.
Mortgage loans increased 11 percent during the pandemic 2020: Unicredit Bulbank
Despite (or because of) uncertainties linked to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, the largest Bulgarian bank - Unicredit Bulbank - reported an 11 percent increase in its mortgage loans portfolio. According to Giacomo Volpi, head of the consumer banking department of the financial institution, the pandemic has not deterred Bulgarians from buying homes. The bank also expects similar growth in this portfolio throughout 2021.
Trade unions and business associations demand fresh Covid-19 relief from the state
On Wednesday a number of employers' associations and trade unions, including Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria (KNSB), KT Podkrepa, the Association of Industrial Capital and the Confederacy of the Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (KRIB) sought fresh state-led measures to assist pandemic-hit business and workers. One demand is that the state backs any company, regardless of its economic activity, if it has lost more than 20 percent of its revenue and sales. The second measure is that the state covers 75 percent, rather than the current 60 percent, of the salary expenses of businesses obliged to close.