Bulgaria found itself in a big judicial mess today (on top of the health and political mess we're already in). A former minister was appointed illegally, according to the country's top court, thus invalidating his decisions.The catch: the minister is currently running for parliament and is well-positioned to be the leader of a probable governing coalition.
Apart from that, Bulgaria keeps sliding towards a full lockdown with hospitals running out of capacity fast. Check in later in the week to know more.
Presidential appointment overturned by Constitutional Court
Former economy minister Kiril Petkov, a member of the first caretaker government, appointed by President Rumen Radev, was still a Canadian citizen when he was sworn in, the court has established. Since the Constitution states clearly that ministers can't have foreign citizenship, this invalidates the Presidential decree, appointing him as a minister. This means all his actions and orders in this capacity are also void, thus opening up a huge gap for lawsuits.
Petkov claims he gave up Canadian citizenship in April, before being sworn in. Canada, however, confirmed this only several months later - in August.
Tax authorities start mass checks for VAT fraud
The National Revenue Agency will be checking both imports from third countries for sale in other EU-member states, and goods directed to the Bulgarian market. The bulk of the imports come from Turkey and China. The swoops will take in storehouses and retail outlets as well as accountancy offices. The goal is to help reduce VAT fraud which remains a challenge for Bulgaria as an outside border for the EU.
US to consider removing visas for Bulgaria
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Tuesday the United States is considering adding four countries to its visa waiver program that allows citizens to come to America without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. "We have four candidates in the pipeline: Israel, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania," Mayorkas said on Tuesday at a travel industry event, quoted by Reuters. Croatia was the last addition to the list - in September.
To participate in the program, a country must meet requirements related to counter-terrorism, law enforcement, immigration enforcement, document security, and border management. Also, the volume of the total rejected applications must be lower than 3%. Bulgaria has been struggling to get into the program for decades, being one of three EU countries excluded. The other two are Romania and Cyprus.