Bulgaria has notched up a new, unenviable negative record - nearly 10 thousand people became newly infected with Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, and 161 people died, of whom 92% were unvaccinated. This comes against the background of recent protests against the vaccinations and the green certificate organized by the Vazrazhdane party.
After the Skopje summit: air connection to Sofia in 60 days
The Prime Ministers of Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia, Kiril Petkov and Dimitar Kovachevski, met in Skopje today and announced that they would devote more time to resolving difficult bilateral issues. But one thing became clear - there will be a Sofia-Skopje direct air connection within 60 days.
"The route will become a reality. The specifics will be clarified within 30 days and it will start operating in 60 days," Petkov said. He added, however, that establishing a train connection within this time span would be impossible.
The two prime ministers said that two governments would meet in Sofia next week. However, no progress has been made on unresolved issues, meaning that Skopje's path towards EU accession continues to be blocked by Sofia. But the two sides still promised to discuss other pressing matters.
Inflation up to 7.8% y-y in December
Inflation continues to accelerate, reaching 7.8% in December on an annual basis, according to data from the National Statistical Institute. This is a record rate as the last such increase in consumer prices was back in December 2008. The inflation rate in December alone compared to November 2021 is 0.9% after rising by 1.4% in the previous month. According to NSI's report, the average annual inflation in 2021 was 3.3%.
The largest increase on an annual basis is reported in transport - 22.2%. Inflation in utilities is also in double digits (11.6%), and food prices are up 8.9%. These are the areas that have the greatest weight in calculating inflation, as they account for the most significant share of household expenditure.
Bulgarian municipalities want 670 million levs from the government
Municipalities in Bulgaria want 670 million levs state help for 2022 due to the sharp rise in electricity and natural gas prices. These are the calculations of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria (NAMRB), announced by its executive director Silvia Georgieva. The association suggests this amount be included in the state budget. In 2020, the municipalities received a total of 164 million from the state, said Georgieva.