Bulgaria's 45th National Assembly opened with calls for the return of the principles of parliamentary democracy, with the isolation of the ruling GERB party, and negotiations between opponents for unification on specific issues. The newly elected parliament's first meeting also brought the first sign that cooperation between its six groups is possible - the new chairman is Iva Miteva (lawyer and former director of directorate Legislative Activity and EU Law at the National Assembly), nominated by There is such a people. Miteva was supported by all parties besides GERB whose candidate received no outside votes.
First order of business: the Electoral Code
The newly sworn-in members of parliament's primary concern is the Electoral Code - amendments to the code were demanded by all parties besides GERB. If passed, that would mean that early elections, if it comes to that, might look very different to previous ones. The amendments would include options for remote voting, more sections abroad, active registration to clear up the voter lists, video surveillance during the counting of the results, etc. There is such a people's key reform - the establishment of a majoritarian electoral system, seems to be off the agenda for now.
The Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) digs into Vladislav Panev's background
A day before he was sworn in as an MP, the co-chair of the Green Movement, Vladislav Panev, turned out to be an object of unusual interest from the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC). The regulator has sent letters to a number of investment firms and management companies requesting information on all transactions they may have made as his client.
Panev has long been a stock market investor, as well as a longtime shareholder and chairman of the board of directors of the management company Sky Asset Management, so the scope of the requested information probably includes transactions from 15-20 years ago. The deadline for submitting the information to the FSC is two working days. The timing and urgency of the FSC's request raise concerns that it may be political forces applying pressure on the regulator. Also, it's not the first time Panev has been through a smear campaign.
Household income goes up in 2020, expenditures decrease
In 2020, the average monetary income of a household in Bulgaria increased by 5.3% to close to 15,000 levs (12.5 thousand euro) for the year, according to national statistics. Meanwhile, cash expenditures decreased by 0.8% compared to 2019 to 13.3 thousand levs for the year. The decline comes primarily from shrinking budgets for leisure activities, transportation costs, and purchases of clothes and shoes.