On Friday most discussion in Parliament was about introducing compulsory Green Certificates, which prove Covid-19 vaccinations, in order to enter its premises. After heated debates that even involved the Prime Minister, the majority approved a regime that is partially stricter than the national one - only MPs who show proof of being double jabbed would be allowed in. The changes were adopted with the votes of the ruling WCC party, its partners from Democratic Bulgaria and BSP. Opposition came from MRF and GERB. TISP, also part of the ruling coalition, and the radical Covid-deniers from Vazrazhdane, did not take part in the vote.
Attitudes harden in Bulgaria, N. Macedonia as Kiril Petkov announces 18 January Skopje visit
The two political parties that go by the name of VMRO in Bulgaria and N. Macedonia have reinforced their opposition to any compromise in bilateral negotiations. This happened just days before the announced National Security Council meeting on the topic of N. Macedonian relations by President Rumen Radev, which is planned for Monday, 10 January, and a week before the announced visit of Prime Minister Kiril Petkov to Skopje. Mr Petkov himself underlined that Bulgaria will not change its core position and demands vis-a-vis Skopje, but would build on them and require bilateral work in five separate working groups, including on the topics of infrastructure, culture, EU integration and the fight against corruption.
No compulsory vaccination as long as I am Prime Minister, Petkov says
The Prime Minister has underlined that there will be no compulsory vaccination in Bulgaria. He was responding to a claim made by radical Vazrazhdane party leader Kostadin Kostadinov that vaccination is not simply compulsory, but forced upon people. Mr Petkov called MPs to show public responsibility and help, rather than hinder, the vaccination campaign, adding that he does not want to be the Prime Minister "to count the dead".
There is no commitment to close Maritza East 2, but to cut emissions: Assen Vassilev
Finance Minister Assen Vassilev said that Bulgaria has not made any commitments to close down the polluting Maritza East 2 coal power plants near Stara Zagora that produce 1.4 GW of energy. Instead, he said, it had made a clear bid to lower its carbon footprint and "there is a different combination of solutions" that the country would rather take. Vassilev was responding to a parliamentary question from Zhecho Stankov MP (GERB). A new potential plan outlined by Mr Vassilev is for the transfer of the planned project for a waste incinerator from Sofia to the Maritza basin.