A new round of dismissals was announced by the caretaker government on Thursday, including the head of the Road Infrastructure Agency and the audit council of the Bulgarian Development Bank.
In other news, 18 parties and 9 coalitions registered to participate in the 11 July election, down from 30 in April. Also, President Rumen Radev met Pope Francis in Rome where he attended a liturgy commemorating the deeds of St Cyril and St Methodius alongside his N. Macedonian colleague Stevo Pendarovski.
Radev opposes "intermediaries" in Sofia-Skopje dispute
The Bulgarian President declared he is against intermediaries, including historians from other EU states, joining the Bulgarian-N. Macedonian historic committee. The committee, entrusted with debating the two states' contrasting views of history, has been deadlocked for over 18 months and is one reason for Sofia putting the brakes on Skopje's EU accession bid.
N. Macedonian media also reports that Mr Pendarovski praised Mr Radev "for employing a completely different rhetoric" from others in Sofia.
Romanian tourists can enter Bulgaria without PCR
Romanian tourists are allowed to enter Bulgaria from Thursday without having to show a negative PCR test at the border, the Bulgarian Health Ministry announced. The decision follows Bucharest's decision to include Sofia in its "green zone" of countries.
After UK and Russian tour operators cancelled holidays to Bulgaria, Romanian tourists remain the big hope for Bulgarian holidaymakers. At the same time, the Health Ministry temporarily suspended all travel to and from 9 countries, notably India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives, Brazil, as well as certain states and territories in Africa.
State-owned energy companies owe 1,25 billion euro in debt: Energy Minister
The National Electricity Company (NEC) and the Maritza East 2 Thermal Power Plant are among the largest debtors under the cap of the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), which owes 1,25 billion euro to creditors, caretaker Energy Minister Andrei Zhivkov told media.
He specified that the servicing of these obligations alone costs the state 100 million euros a year. "BEH has access to lucrative forms of financing, but instead of investing in strategic projects and becoming a regional player, it uses them to solve current problems. In other words, with long-term obligations, BEH solves short-term problems. This is the path to a debt spiral," the minister noted.
Apart from NEC and Maritza East 2, Bulgartransgaz's liabilities are also growing yearly, amounting to 460 million euro, the main reason being the investment of 1,3 billion euro in the TurkStream gas pipeline route through Bulgaria. Later, ex-Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova dismissed all allegations and said all state-owned companies run at a profit.