Domestic news on Friday was dominated by Internal Minister Boyko Rashkov's confirmation that Bulgarian opposition politicians have indeed been wiretapped by the secret services. The information came from Democratic Bulgaria co-leader Atanas Atanassov on Thursday, who compared it to the Watergate scandal in the US. The leader of "There is such a people" party Slavi Trifonov called the wiretapping operation "monstrous," while Hristo Ivanov from Democratic Bulgaria told Dnevnik.bg that there was "little doubt" it was ordered by former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.
Health authorities register new Covid-19 variant unique to Bulgaria
The National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD) in Sofia announced the detection of a mutation of the Covid-19 virus that is a variation of the so-called British strain, which is now the predominant strain active in Bulgaria. The new variant, which is marked by a mutation of the so-called spike protein (typical for the so-called Brazilian strain), was first found in an 80-year-old patient in Sofia, who later died. The newly described strain could turn out to be more viral and resistant to immunizations, said the director of the disease center Todor Katrandzhiev.
Bulgaria's stance on N. Macedonia rigid despite EU pressure
The new cabinet's policy towards Skopje is in "absolute continuity" with the position of the previous government and "no change can be expected," but "our goal is to create all the prerequisites needed for restarting dialogue". Caretaker Foreign Minister Svetlan Stoev's stance was publicized after his meeting with Olivér Várhelyi, EU Commissioner for Enlargement, who is currently touring Sofia and Skopje in an attempt to break the deadlock between the two countries that stops N. Macedonia's EU accession bid. Before meeting Mr Stoev, Mr Várhelyi held discussions with ex-Prime Minister Borissov.
NRA wrote off 5 billion euro in unpaid debt between 2017 and 2020
The tax authority of Bulgaria (NRA) has written off 5 billion euro in unpaid debt between 2017 and 2020, caretaker Finance Minister Assen Yordanov said on Friday. The single largest debtor is a Kardzhali-based company which had incurred 80 million euro of unpaid dues over this period, he noted. The minister also said his institution is launching an inspection of all companies that had received state transfers in 2020. He added that the total amount of these transfers is almost 8 billion euro, with 7 companies alone receiving the lion's share of 1,7 billion euro.