Bulgaria spent Monday appraising recent sweeping personnel changes made by ministers of Stefan Yanev's caretaker government. Not surprisingly, GERB has been complaining of revanchism. You can read more about it in tomorrow's Kapital Insights' article. In more positive news, the electric car sharing service Spark announced that it was extending its services to locations in Plovdiv. From 17 May onwards, users of the application can drive cars from the 500-strong fleet of electric vehicles from the capital to the country's second city (and back) and park in specialized zones there.
New vaccination rules prioritizing the elderly announced
Dr Stoycho Katsarov, who took over the Healthcare Ministry last Tuesday, announced that elderly citizens over 60, as well as those suffering from chronic or severe diseases (diabetes, cancer etc.) will have priority access to immunization against Covid-19. From 18 May they will be able to get a vaccine from Monday to Thursday, while everybody else will still get the chance to get a jab from Friday to Sunday. Mr Katsarov announced the changes in a video message in which he pleaded with Bulgarians to get vaccinated to arrest the disease and facilitate the easing up of anti-epidemic measures.
Inflation rate reached 2 percent in April: NSI
According to National Statistics Institute (NSI) data, the annual consumer price index for Bulgaria reached 2 percent in April, up from 0,6 percent a month earlier. Inflation is still half as high as the record 4,1 percent rate recorded in January 2020. This is mostly due to fuel prices' increase (16 percent in April 2021 compared to March) and a natural gas price spike (13 percent increase compared to a year earlier). Additionally, NSI announced that there were 204,000 recorded unemployed persons as of April - 6,3 percent of the total workforce.
Several Bulgarian companies control 7 million hectares of land and forests in the country
About 7 million hectares of land and forests, amounting to 6,3 percent of Bulgaria's entire territory, are part of hunting zones concession contracts held by 170 companies, many of which are in the hands of oligarchs. This is the summary of an analysis published by the "Green Laws" NGO on Monday which implicates famous - and notorious - businessmen in controlling vast areas. These include Valentin Zlatev (ex-head of Lukoil - Bulgaria), mogul Delyan Peevski, and energy boss Hristo Kovatchki who pay on average 0,5 euro per hectare to the state per year for "feudalism" (in the words of the NGO) of the lucrative land.