Good afternoon on the first Friday of September. President Rumen Radev told reporters he has still not decided the date to dissolve parliament after none of the three largest parties - GERB, There is such a people (TISP) and BSP managed to form a government. Mr Radev said he will seek "a rational decision", as he will have to choose between having "2 in 1" Parliamentary and Presidential elections on 14 November and having three consecutive Sundays of elections - the Parliamentary vote, plus the Presidential vote and a potential runoff.
Bulgaria tops EU Covid death chart for the past two weeks
According to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Bulgaria has the highest number of deaths per 1 million people over the past two weeks - 55.67 in the EU, followed by Cyprus with 48.42. By comparison, Lichtenstein had none and Slovakia and Sweden recorded less than one fatality per million population over the same period. Additionally, ECDC reports that Sofia has passed the 19,000 mark in overall Covid-19 deaths as of 3 September.
Census to take place online between 7-17 September, offline in the following fortnight
Bulgarians will be able to register and take part in the national census either online between 7 and 17 September or offline between 18 September and 3 October, the National Statistics Institute (NSI) announced on Friday. Registration for the online census happens on the website Census2021.bg. Participation is compulsory for Bulgarian and EU citizens residing in the country permanently as of 7 September.
Parliament budget committee approves proposal for 185 euro minimum pension
MPs from all parliamentary parties, excluding GERB, approved a motion to increase the monthly old age pension by 23.3 percent to 185 euro in the Budget Committee of the National Assembly on Friday. If the motion is approved by the General Assembly of Parliament, it will take effect from 1 October. This sum is 0.5 euro, or 1 lev higher than the current poverty line for the country. The move would be an alternative to the additional monthly allowance that was introduced by GERB at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and was then continued by the caretaker government of Stefan Yanev.