The second day of March was dominated by GERB ministers visiting TV studios to brag about their achievements over the past four years, as well as their leader - Prime Minister Boyko Borissov - appearing on various Facebook Live videos from construction sites to tell us that all of this is possible because his party - and not "the communists," are in power.
Staying with broadcast media, Parliament behaved out of character by (wisely) deciding to postpone the changes to the media law that would have extended the mandates of the executives of the national radio and TV, BNR and BNT until after the elections. On the business front, over 3,200 medium-sized companies applied for the 25,000 euro Covid relief grants available from the EU in the first five days since applications opened. This means that struggling businesses are seeking 81 million euro, almost twice as much as the available 37,5 million euro funding.
Three quarters of Bulgarian regions in the "red" infections zone
The reopening of restaurants on Monday coincided with a new spike in the number of Covid-19 infections. On Tuesday, the National Crisis Committee announced that 22 out of 28 regions have reported over 120 new infections per 100,000 population in the past fortnight. Two new regions - Vratsa and Pleven - join Kyustendil in the top brass of regions with over 400 per 100,000 newly recorded Covid-19 cases in the past 14 days, with Burgas and the capital Sofia catching up with over 350 new cases per 100,000. There has been a 40 percent rise in the overall number of infections and deaths on a weekly basis, with numbers of hospitalized patients reaching the dangerous mid-November 2020 rates of 4,700.
Six or seven parties to form a fragmented parliament: Alpha Research
GERB is increasing its lead over the BSP and six or seven parties have a realistic chance to make it into the 45th Bulgarian National Assembly, the most recent Alpha Research poll claims. According to the agency, 52 percent of people are planning to vote, with 25 percent still undecided. The ruling party has increased its support to 28,5 percent compared to 24,3 percent in January, while their socialist opponents lag behind with 23,2 percent, only a 1,2 percent increase compared to their January score. MRF and Slavi Trifonov's "There is such people" party vie for third place with around 13 percent of the vote, while Democratic Bulgaria and the protest fraction "Stand up, Thugs out" gravitate between 4,5 and 6 percent. The last party with a chance to enter Parliament is the nationalist VMRO, currently on 3,7 percent of the vote (the threshold to enter parliament is 4 percent).
Eurohold seeks 100 million euro from Stock Market to purchase CEZ-Bulgaria
Eurohold Bulgaria is planning to raise 100 million euro on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange to finance the 335 million euro deal for the purchase of CEZ energy holding's Bulgarian assets. This will be one of the largest fundraisings on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange and should take place on 10 April, with issue price set for 1,25 euro per stock. The holding, which maintained its revenue during the crisis-ridden 2020 at the price of increase of the incurred losses, is currently under surveillance by the Fitch credit agency precisely due to uncertainties surrounding the purchase of the energy company's Bulgarian assets.