Several morsels of political news from Thursday: GERB's Boyko Borissov has once again opted out of joining the next Parliament as an MP; the Green Movement, part of Democratic Bulgaria coalition, announced it is backing Rumen Radev against Anastas Gerdjikov in Sunday's second round of presidential elections; and TISP leader Slavi Trifonov told National Radio that he is ready for compromises with parliamentary election winner We Continue The Change (WCC) to enable the formation of a cabinet as soon as possible.
Sofia blames Ankara for election tampering, Turkish Ambassador summoned by MFA
Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov has accused Turkey of interfering in the 2 in 1 elections for parliament and president on 14 November. He cited publications from Turkish media, where Turkish-Bulgarian voters are urged to vote in the election "so that Bulgarian Turks do not get assimilated".
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) announced that a meeting to discuss potential election interference by Ankara was held between its Permanent Secretary, Ivan Kondov, and Turkey's Ambassador in Sofia, Aylin Sekizkök. "The Turkish side was informed of cases of political agitation by officials, Turkish political leaders, expatriate organizations and media to vote in favor of a certain political party in our country," the Foreign Ministry's official statement said.
Bulgarian trade deficit shrinks to 77.4 million euro in September
The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) announced that Bulgaria's trade deficit for September is 77.4 million euro, down from 202 million euro in the same month of 2020. The balance for the January-September period is also negative - minus 50.3 million euro, while for the same period last year it was positive by 598.8 million euro. Exports of Bulgarian goods in September amounted to 3.061 billion euro and increased by 25.9 percent on an annual basis. For the period between January and September 2021, exports amounted to 24.89 billion euro and grew by 23.8 percent year-on-year, compared to 20.1 billion euros a year ago. In comparison, exports for January-September 2020 are down 7 percent year-on-year. Imports for September amounted to 3.270 billion euro, up 24.5 percent year-on-year ( 2.627 billion euro for the same month of 2020).
Military Prosecution brings six alleged Defense Ministry spies to court
Six persons have been brought to trial for "forming and leading a group for espionage, collecting and giving to a foreign state information constituting state secrets, and placing itself at the service of a foreign state to serve it as spies." According to the indictment, three of the individuals disclosed foreign classified military information. Two of the accused have also been charged with possessing firearms ammunition without a permit. Former military intelligence head Ivan Iliev is considered to have headed the spy ring which collaborated with the Russian state. Additionally, the prosecution has charged his wife, his former subordinate, two employees of the Military Intelligence Service, the head of the Bulgarian parliament's secretariat, and the deputy director of the Defense Ministry's budget directorate, with spying.