On Wednesday the Bulgarian Parliament convened for the first time in 2022, with the main topic discussed by MPs and journalists in the corridors of the National Assembly being the state of Bulgarian-N. Macedonian relations. The topic resurfaced after, on Monday, TISP leader Slavi Trifonov proposed that Bulgaria lifts its blockade over Skopje's EU accession in return for entering the Schengen borderless area and visa-free travel to the USA. In other news
European Investment Fund and UniCredit to provide 1 bln euro for SMEs in Bulgaria, 3 other states
The European Investment Fund (EIF) announced it will provide 700 million euro in guarantees to UniCredit, allowing the lender to provide up to 1 billion euro of financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia to accelerate the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund announced on Wednesday. The EIF guarantees them from the European Guarantee Fund (EGF), a 25 billion euro facility set up by the European Investment Bank Group in 2020 to boost the post-COVID-19 recovery of the EU economy. The loans will be made available under preferential terms to SMEs operating in economic sectors hardest hit by the pandemic and aim to accelerate the recovery of national economies, EIF noted.
Bulgarian economy will grow 3.5% in 2022, 4% in 2023: Euler Hermes
According to a report by the credit insurance company cited by Investor.bg, the Bulgarian economy will continue to recover at a gradual pace, returning to pre-crisis levels by the end of the year. This is slower than the expected recovery for the global economy and the euro area, the report underlines. The analysis says that the main risk for the Bulgarian economy is its strong export orientation, including for services such as tourism. This makes it highly vulnerable to external turbulence, including new Covid variants.
Inflation is expected to reach its peak at the beginning of 2022. There will be a moderation after the end of Q1 and average inflation for 2022 is expected to be around 2 percent. The report claims that wages will continue to grow faster than price increases, with 9 percent growth expected for 2022.
Delyan Peevski sells 10 mln euro worth of real estate despite Magnitsky Act sanctions
The company of sanctioned MRF MP and former media mogul Delyan Peevski, Intrust, has sold 10 mln euro worth of lucrative real estate properties, mostly based in the expensive Southern outskirts of Sofia, to the company of MMA trainer Sevastian Kostov Stroyko 2011. The deals, which were noted in the Property register, went through despite Mr Peevski remaining sanctioned under the US anti-corruption Magnitsky Act, which would also put him on a blacklist for most banks.