Good afternoon on Monday with several small, but noteworthy snippets of news from Bulgaria. Road construction workers have continued their protests against the current administration; they are demanding that advance payments promised by the previous GERB-led government be served. Hot water will return to Sofia by the end of working hours on Monday, Sofia Heating announced - a day earlier than previously promised. Central heating will also be launched by the end of the week. Lastly, Bulgaria has added its signature to a declaration by ten EU countries, led by France, to count nuclear energy projects as environmentally friendly, and thus - eligible for EU funding.
MRF leader Mustafa Karadaya is party's nominee for President
The news was announced on Sunday by the Movement. MRFs deputy in the European Parliament Iskra Mihaylova will be the party's candidate for vice-president. This is the first time that the party, which is often accused of exploiting the ethnicTurkish vote and presiding over it in the manner of an oligarchy, has nominated a Muslim Bulgarian of Turkish origin for Head of State.
The party also announced that mogul Delyan Peevski will once again run for office as an MP in November, practically defying the Magnitsky Act sanctions imposed on him by the US and the current Bulgarian administration for alleged corruption.
Agricultural production down 4.5 percent in 2020 despite growing prices: NSI
According to data released by the National Statistics Institute (NSI), Bulgaria's agricultural sector produced 3,9 billion euro worth of farm produce in 2020, which marks a 4.5 percent decrease compared to 2019. The fall is mostly due to a decrease in the volume of produce (11 percent), despite the 7.3 percent increase in foodstuff prices over the same period. The net added value of the sector for the year stands at 1.7 billion euro, which is 1.1 percent lower than 2019, NSI adds. Grain continues to dominate agricultural production. Livestock breeding makes up a quarter of the production and marks a 2.7 percent overall year-on-year growth.
Several kompromats linked to Football association boss appear in Pandora Leaks
A month before the upcoming early election for President of the Bulgarian Football Association (BFA), investigative website bird.bg has published documents from the recent Pandora Leaks highlighting likely corruption schemes perpetrated by incumbent candidate Borislav Mihaylov. According to the leaks, the BFA under Mr Mihailov received 11.5 million euro from UEFA for the construction of national football training quarters, but only accounted for 9.5 million of it. Additionally, the construction of the quarters was delegated to Vodstroy, an infrastructure company linked to MRF mogul Delyan Peevski - a government favorite of the previous decade. The leaked documents also show how UEFA warned BFA under Mr Mihaylov that it is inflating prices for various projects for which it sought financing, including a coach for the national team worth 500,000 Swiss Francs.