The weekend was full of political news as negotiations between parliamentary parties for the possible formation of a new government began. The leaders of There is such a people (TISP), which is the largest parliamentary formation, met with Democratic Bulgaria (DB) on Friday, with BSP and Stand up, BG! on Saturday, and on Sunday - with the MRF. President Rumen Radev announced that he would give the 7-day mandate for a new government to TISP only if the parties guarantee they already have brokered an agreement following their negotiations.
So composition of the future government may not become clear within the two-week period originally promised by TISP chairman Toshko Yordanov.
Business organizations and unions approve the proposed budget revision
The caretaker cabinet's vision for a revision of the 2021 budget was given the green light by unions and employers' organizations at Monday's meeting of the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation (NCTC). The social partners approved an average pension increase of 12.5% starting on October 1, and an increase in government expenditure meant to support businesses and the healthcare sector in case of a new Covid-19 wave in the fall and winter.
According to the Ministry of Finance's estimates, budget revenue will exceed what was planned in the initial accounts by 2.1 bn levs. So they're proposing an increase of budget expenditure by about 1.8 bn levs, which would also lead to a smaller-than-planned budget deficit at the end of the year. The budget revision, at this stage, is only a suggestion. The final decision will be made by the new parliament after it has been formed.
Fitch affirmed Bulgaria's BBB ratings
Fitch Ratings affirmed Bulgaria's long-term foreign and local currency rating at BBB with a positive outlook. According to the credit rating agency, the development of the pandemic and political uncertainty are short-term downside risks. However, they are offset by prospects of substantial funding from the EU and a commitment to macro and fiscal stability. Fitch expects Bulgaria's economic growth to accelerate to 4.7% in 2021, compared to the estimate for 3% from February.
European Commission tells Bulgaria to comply with EU copyright rules
The European Commission has requested 23 member states, including Bulgaria, to communicate information about how the rules included in the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market are being incorporated into their national law. As the 23 countries have not outlined national transposition measures or have done it only partially, Brussels decided to open infringement procedures by sending letters of formal notice. Adopted two years ago, the copyright rules aim to level the playing field between the EU's creative industries and online platforms like Google and Facebook.