Friday is the second day of Sofia's Three Seas Initiative forum, which convenes political and business leaders from 12 countries in the Baltic, Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean to forge North-South cooperation. It is also the last day of political campaigning, marked by salvos traded between GERB and the caretaker government about voter fraud allegations.
Final surveys predict protest parties may scrape majorityThree final surveys, published on 8 and 9 July by Trend Agency, Alpha Research and Gallup International - Balkan, give There is such a people (TISP) party a lead, but all depends on (unpredictable) turnout and participation rates abroad.
Six to eight parties might enter the Bulgarian parliament, as two nationalist factions - Vazrazhdane ("Revival") and Bulgarian Patriots score above the 3 percent margin, handing them a realistic chance of passing the threshold.
Depending on these factors, there is a slight chance that the so-called protest parties (TISP, Democratic Bulgaria and Stand up! Thugs - out! (SUTO) could manage to get the 121 seats needed for a majority, but a tally of 101-107 seats is more likely.
EU Prosecution launches first probe in Bulgaria - on Operational program "Environment"
The European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO), led by former Romanian specialized prosecutor Laura Kovesi, is launching its first investigation into a potentially problematic Bulgarian EU-funded program. The probe is linked to an investigation by the Bulgarian Prosecution about management of the Operational program "Environment" by former directors of the Environmental Ministry department overseeing it. The program is the worst performing Bulgarian EU funds financing scheme, with only 39 percent of the available 1,9 billion euro distributed so far.
ICSID launches a billion euro arbitration case by CEZ electric company against Bulgaria
The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington, DC, has launched arbitration proceedings in the case of Czech energy company CEZ against Bulgaria, 3E-news.net writes.
The Czech energy giant commenced international investment arbitration proceedings due to Bulgaria disregarding the investment protection provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty of the EU in 2016. According to the specialized publication, the claim made by CEZ amounts to between 600 million and 1 billion euro. Previously, another foreign energy company - Austrian EVN - launched a similar arbitration before ICSID, but it ended after it struck a deal with the Bulgarian National Energy Company (NEC).