Election results and developments dominated the news on Monday, a day after Bulgaria's second attempt at electing a parliament this year. The morning brought a new twist - Slavi Trifonov, leader of the There is such a people (TISP) party, announced that his party will not seek a coalition but will propose an expert cabinet instead.
As of 1:30 PM today with 98.92% of ballots counted, TISP leads with 23.9%, followed closely by GERB with 23.7%.
Find out more about Trifonov's proposition for a cabinet in Martin Dimitrov's rundown here.
Elections are over (for now)
With close to 99% of ballots counted, TISP leads GERB by a marginal 0.22%. TISP's small advantage will likely grow once votes from abroad - where the formation gathered strong support - are processed. Estimates show that the two parties will receive an equal number of mandates - 64 each, but TISP gets to propose a cabinet first. BSP kept third position with 13.5% of the votes, followed by DB with 12.6%. The MRF party managed to raise 10.7%, and the last "protest party" - Stand up! Out with the thugs! - had 5% support.
Bulgarians warm to euro but anxieties remain
Support for the introduction of the euro in Bulgaria is increasing compared to a year earlier. Now, about 54% of respondents mostly favor adopting the euro. A year ago, that number was 48%. However, most Bulgarians still believe that this will bring more negatives than positive consequences for their country and them personally, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey. Fears of price manipulation and inflation during the conversion process persist.
Tourism revenues still dependent on locals
In May, revenues from overnight stays in local hotels topped 39.6 million levs - about half of pre-crisis levels, which is a lot better than last year's 5 million levs. The marginal recovery comes from overnight stays by Bulgarians, which are 14% above pre-crisis levels, at 29.4 million levs. However, the big revenue engines are foreign tourists - they spent 10.2 million levs in May for overnight stays in hotels in Bulgaria, far below the 50 million they spent in the same month of 2019.