Parliamentary drama continued on Wednesday as the speaker of Parliament Iva Miteva (There is such a people (TISP) party) tried to cover up her party's aborted attempt to form a cabinet and not put it to the vote in the assembly. After GERB pointed out that this might be anti-constitutional, the council of parliamentary party leaders agreed that Plamen Nikolov's decision to withdraw his nomination for Prime Minister ought to be put to a vote on Thursday.
Covid-19 hospitalizations reach 1,200, over 800 new cases on Wednesday
The Delta variant has driven a significant increase in new cases and hospitalizations over the past fortnight. As of Wednesday, information from the national Covid-19 portal shows that there are 1,207 people hospitalized in medical facilities in Bulgaria, with 101 people needing intensive care.
The number of new cases detected is also gradually going up, passing 800 on Wednesday (out of 18,500 tests). Sofia, Plovdiv and Burgas are the leading cities for new cases. "It is a matter of days before Bulgaria enters the orange zone [of 200-500 new cases per 100,000 population] of infections, which would require imposing restrictions," caretaker health minister Stoycho Katsarov told Nova TV.
Almost 13 percent of Bulgarian students drop out of school or university: Eurostat
Bulgaria is fifth in terms of the proportion of young people aged 18-24 who have dropped out of school or University in 2020, the European statistical agency Eurostat says. A total of 12,7 percent of Bulgarian students left their educational institution last year, a 1,2 percent decrease compared to 2019, but still below the 10 percent dropout rate target set by the European Commission. Spain and Malta, where over 17 percent of students left school early, top the ranking, while Romania and Italy follow suit with 16,4 and 14,5 percent respectively.
"Public TV's biased election coverage" bashed by Reporters Without Borders
The international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) criticised the Bulgarian National Television (BNT) for not "providing unbiased coverage of the campaign for the snap parliamentary elections held on 11 July," in line with its legal obligation. The position, published on Tuesday evening, quotes a report on the election by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which claims that BNT gave more airtime to GERB, Bulgaria's ruling party up until April. "It is time for the parliament elected in the last election to finally carry out thorough, systemic reforms to address the public broadcaster's lack of independence," Pavol Szalai, the head of RSF's European Union and Balkans desk is quoted saying. The full position is available on RSF's website.