After reopening the country for about two weeks, the authorities are now rushing to close it back down. In the shadow of the worsening pandemic, the expected turnout at the upcoming 4 April parliamentary elections is down to 45 percent, according to a Trend study published on Thursday. Otherwise, electoral attitudes remain much the same, despite the avoidable spike in infection and death rates over the past few weeks. Against this grim background, air operator WizzAir is staying positive, announcing plans to open three new routes between Sofia and the Greek islands of Santorini, Crete and Corfu. But before the summer vacation plans kick in
"Mild" lockdown from Monday until 31 March
After an almost 100 percent increase in the new number of infections and a close to 50 percent jump in Covid-19 fatalities over the past fortnight, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov confirmed partial lockdown measures would be imposed from Monday. All restaurants, cinemas, museums, theaters, galleries and entertainment venues and shopping centers larger than 300 sq. meters, which do not sell essential food and medical items, will close. Schools and private academies are moving back online for all grades, mass public events are cancelled and all sports facilities shut down. The lockdown is due to expire on 31 March but it might be extended, Mr Angelov said. Economy Minister Lachezar Borissov announced that state funding measures in support of closed down businesses will be prolonged throughout the 10-day lockdown.
Bulgaria tops EU for public sector pay hike in 2020
According to Eurostat, public sector spending on remuneration in Bulgaria has grown 20,9 percent in the last quarter of 2020, the highest of all EU states, followed by the Czech Republic. The biggest beneficiaries are Public Administration and Defense, where the growth of salaries has been 20,3 percent, Education (25,6 percent) and Healthcare (24,7 percent). The growth of salaries in the private sector is much more modest - 10 percent on an annual basis, but still ahead of any other EU country except for Austria (11,6 percent year-to-year growth).
US company Yotpo that bought Bulgarian SMSBump becomes a "unicorn"
The e-Commerce marketing platform Yotpo, which bought the Bulgarian SMS marketing and automation application for Shopify SMSBump in 2020, became a "unicorn" company (a business evaluated at $1 billion or more) after announcing it has received a $230 million funding on Thursday. Thus, the US-based company is valued at $1,4 billion. It purchased the Bulgarian firm, launched by Mihail Stoychev and Georgi Petrov in 2017 for $37 million, with the Bulgarian-made product turning into the fastest growing product in the portfolio of Yotpo in 2020 with 170 percent growth in revenue.