Good afternoon on Friday! We close the week with the news that the national industrial production index went up by 8.3 percent in July due to an increase in production in the energy (17.1 percent jump), processing (7.5 percent) and mining (6.2 percent) sectors. In parliamentary news, MPs are deadlocked over the revision of the National Health Insurance Fund budget, but agreed, at least in the Justice Committee, to take the controversial Bureau for Witness Protection away from the office of the Prosecutor General and bring it under the supervision of the Justice Ministry.
Road construction workers march against halted state payments of over 400 million euro
Hundreds of workers protested in front of the National Assembly on Friday, claiming that the state has blocked the payment of over 400 million euro in wages that had been dedicated for road construction projects in 2021 alone. The caretaker ministers of Regional Development and Finance Violeta Komitova and Assen Vassilev claim that the reason for the blocked payments is that the previous administration of the Road Infrastructure Agency has signed contracts with the companies without having the allocated budget to do so.
Six magistrates nominated by SJC to the European Public Prosecutor's Office
Five prosecutors and one Specialised court judge are Bulgaria's new nominees for delegated prosecutors in the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) headed by Romania's former specialised prosecutor Laura Kovesi. This is the Supreme Judicial Council's (SJC) second attempt to nominate magistrates to EPPO, as the first time Ms Kovesi's team rejected six out of the ten candidates due to lack of experience in anti-corruption cases or investigation of EU funds fraud.
Most Bulgarians want EU funds only if rule of law is observed: Eurobarometer
A large majority of Bulgarians - 85 percent of respondents - say they want EU funds, and especially the Recovery and Resilience fund money, to be allocated only to nations that observe the rule of law and democratic principles. At the same time, half of them (49 percent) think their national authorities are incapable of spending these funds without engaging in corruption or mismanagement. These are the main takeouts from the latest Eurobarometer survey on public attitudes towards the EU in all 27 member states published on Friday ahead of the annual European Parliament debate about the state of the union, which starts next week.