It's the middle of January and Bulgaria still doesn't have an approved budget for 2022, which is highly irregular. Today some extra information was given by Finance minister Assen Vassilev and also, as usual, The Institute of Market Economics introduced an alternative budget bill.
New Covid restrictions for Sofia
Restaurants, bars, and clubs will only be able to host guests at half capacity and they will have to close by 10pm. High school students (5th grade and above) will probably study on a rotation principle but 1st to 4th grades will continue to attend school. These new covid restrictions for Sofia probably would be announced officially today or tomorrow, according to state chief health inspector Angel Kunchev. The new restrictions came as the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Bulgaria reached 851 945. The last 24 hours saw 10 160 new cases, according to official data.
Vassilev: State Budget for 2022 to reach parliament by end of January
Finance Minister Assen Vassilev expects high inflation in the first half of 2022, strong economic growth, and a continuing increase in government spending. The budget deficit will be 4.1% of GDP and the minimum wage will increase to 710 leva this year. Also, Vassilev expects the average inflation for 2022 to be 5%, in line with predictions from most institutions. These are some statistics, which were released by Vassilev in an interview for the media "24 hours", in the run-up to this year's state budget. The draft document is expected to be published for public discussion within days because the government wants it submitted to parliament by the end of the month.
Mortality rate in Q4 of 2021 was nearly 50% higher than in Q3
The number of deaths recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021 was 45 812, reported the National Statistical Institute. Compared to the third quarter of 2021 the mortality rate is up 49.2%. Recently, economist Petar Ganev announced that preliminary data shows record levels of deaths in Bulgaria over the past year. The death rate was close to the record of 1918, when the First World War ended and also when Spanish flu hit Europe.