On Friday, caretaker ministers of Justice and Interior Yanaki Stoilov and Boyko Raskov took parliamentary questions about their failed motion to dismiss Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev over alleged abuses of power. MPs agreed to invite Mr Geshev to respond to allegations from two ministers (which the Supreme Judicial Council decided not to take into account on Thursday) next week.
Mr Rashkov also announced that he will present acting prosecutors with the conclusions of his report on Mr Geshev's potentially illegitimate acts in order to provoke an investigation.
Parliamentary parties - except GERB - have meetings in bid to form a cabinet
On Friday five of the six parliamentary parties - excluding GERB - met with President Rumen Radev in a first round of discussions about possibly forming a government. There is such a people (TISP), the party with the largest number of MPs - 65 - said it is sticking to its guns and would not form any coalition government, but would instead press for a minority cabinet supported by the other parties.
The four other factions tentatively promised support, but only if TISP agreed reforms to the judiciary and pension system, as previously discussed. Stand up, BG, Maya Manolova's faction, announced that it would not back a cabinet where "the long hand of GERB and MRF can be felt".
US State Department sees Bulgaria as a low-cost investment spot but problems with corruption and the judiciary
Bulgaria continues to be seen by many investors as an attractive low-cost investment destination, but foreign investors remain concerned about the rule of law. These are the main takeouts from the US State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs annual investment overview of Bulgaria, published on Thursday.
Bulgaria offers some of the least expensive labor in Europe as well as low and flat corporate and income taxes. On the down side, however, it also has the lowest labor productivity rate in the EU, and in the medium term, productivity is further jeopardized by a rapidly shrinking population. "Along with endemic corruption, investors cite problems impeding investment including difficulty obtaining permits, unpredictability due to frequent regulatory and legislative changes, attempts to negate long-term government contracts, and inefficient judicial system," the report concludes.
Energy Minister dismisses Bulgarian Energy Holding management
Caretaker Minister of Energy Andrey Zhivkov announced Friday he is dismissing the entire management council of the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and has installed a temporary board of directors to oversee the state energy company until a new management is selected. The new board consists of energy experts Maria Velkova, a former vice president for M&A of Austrian Enery GmbH, Vesselina Kantova - Buchkova, administrative law specialist, Iva Petrova, independent energy consultant with experience in the Energy Ministry and BEH, Plamen Dilkov, owner of several hydro-electric generation stations and Anton Simeonov, energy and finance expert.