The best laid plans for vaccinations were overturned this weekend as health authorities opened green corridors across the country for those willing to get their on the spot jab. Currently, anyone can get a vaccine, although, nominally, in the mornings priority will still be given to groups in phases one, two and three (health staff, teachers, pharmacists, dentists, staff in care homes, and kindergartens). The elderly and other vulnerable groups not covered by previous measures will not have priority, however.
In other news from the day - Bulgaria raised 100 mln euro from another bonds issue this Monday at a yield of -0.17%, which is a record low for this maturity segment.
Last summer's pre-protest detainments of a president adviser and an opposition member ruled illegal
The arrest of a presidential secretary before last summer's mass protests has been deemed illegal by the court in Plovdiv. Plamen Uzunov, secretary of defence for the President, had been detained on 9 July 2020 in Plovdiv in connection with an abuse of power investigation by the Prosecution service. The court has now ruled that decision illegal. Uzunov's detention and the demonstrative search of offices in the Presidency sparked mass discontent against the Prosecution service's actions. Many people saw the moves as favoring the government and attacking the President.
A member of the citizens' association BOEC was also illegally detained by the police during the following protests in front of the parliament on September 2, 2020, the Sofia District Court decided. The ruling revokes the arrest warrant for Venelin Bozhilov and orders the Ministry of Interior to cover the costs of the case, Sega Newspaper reported. The court's decision is not final and can be appealed.
Foreign investments in Bulgaria shrank in 2020
Foreign direct investment in Bulgaria reached 562 million euro in 2020, according to early estimates of the central bank. For comparison, the initial number for 2019 was 630 million euro, but that has since been revised upward to over 1.1 billion. Thus, the impact of COVID-19 on FDI is, understandably, negative, but not too significant, judging by the initial estimates. Meanwhile, remittances from Bulgarians living and working abroad decreased drastically - from 1.2 billion euro in 2019 to 340 million euro in 2020. The likely reason is the large number of people who returned at the start of the crisis after losing their jobs abroad.
Bulgarians want more voting sections abroad
Bulgarians living abroad are urging authorities to amend the Electoral code before the upcoming parliamentary elections on April 4. The Network of Election Volunteers Abroad has published a petition, requesting for the current restriction of 35 polling stations in non-EU countries to be loosened. There is very little time left for such an initiative. By March 13, the election administration has to establish where people will be able to vote outside Bulgaria, as well as the number of polling stations.