Mass vaccination continues to dominate Tuesday's news. Mobile teams have started traveling to smaller cities and villages to begin vaccinating. Health authorities estimate that if the current rate of administering is maintained, Bulgaria could reach herd immunity by the end of the summer. This may be optimistic - currently, those willing to get a jab are driving up the vaccination rate. But the majority of the population is fearful and / or unwilling to get vaccinated which means that the rate will soon slow down once again. Bear in mind that, so far, only about 130,000 people have had one vaccine, which means fewer than 2 in 100 people.
State railways announced an upcoming tender for rail modernization worth 1bn levs
The National Railway Infrastructure Company will announce a public tender for 908 million levs (464 million euro) for the modernization of the Vidin - Medkovets railway line in Northwestern Bulgaria in April or May, according to an announcement in the Official Journal of the European Union. This is the first contract from the new programming period 2021-2027 whose budget has yet to be approved and enter into force.
Non-performing loans up by 178 mln levs in January
According to data from the central bank, non-performing and restructured loans grew by 178 million levs (91 million euro) in January, or 3.75% on a monthly basis. In total, bad loans are approaching 5 billion levs. This marks the end of a 5-year declining trend - not unexpected as the credit moratorium expires for more and more customers. The deterioration in January is due to corporate and consumer loans, while the share of bad loans in the mortgages segment continues to decline.
Reporters Without Borders: Don't let Borissov limit media freedom
Bulgarian journalists must oppose Prime Minister Boyko Borissov's attempts to restrict media freedom by dodging reporters' questions, said Reporters Without Borders director for the EU and the Balkans Pavol Szalai in a conference on press freedom in Brussels. A few weeks ago, during another tour of the country, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said he would not waste time speaking to journalists. Szalai added that the EPP should demand an explanation from Borissov. He believes that Bulgaria represents all of the problems faced by the media in Europe.