А new law to protect the Bulgarian banking system and economy from cases in which Bulgarian citizens are sanctioned by other countries is being prepared. This was announced today by finance minister Assen Vassilev who said it was a government initiative that would help in the event of a new "Magnitsky" list being announced - such as, for example, the recent economic sanctions placed on Delyan Peevski.
Meanwhile, those of you seeking a break from the political events will be glad to know that today marks the official start of the Olympics and that Bulgaria has sent 16 athletes to the Beijing 2022 Winter Games to compete in seven sports.
Kiril Petkov holds firm against Geshev after talks
Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev today discussed several issues related to judicial reform. The Council of Ministers announced that during the meeting Geshev insisted on keeping specialized courts and the prosecutor's office open. Petkov, however, reaffirmed the government's insistence on closing them due to their perceived poor results in fighting corruption and organized crime.
Petkov also held his first meeting with Sofia's mayor Yordanka Fandakova (from the ex-ruling party GERB) today. Their discussion focused on the city's infrastructure problems. To judge from the photo, their meeting was convivial enough.
The state will buy centralized electricity for schools and municipalities
The state is to make centralized purchases of electricity in order to safeguard stable prices for the next one or two years, announced Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Assen Vassilev today. This means all institutions in the public sector will be able to buy electricity together from one supplier, which operates on behalf of the state to buy electricity on the stock exchange under long-term contracts.
Such an option was proposed by the working group set up to seek solutions after many municipalities warned that they would turn off the street lights.
Permits for housing construction up by a third in Q4 of 2021
Against a background of relentless demand for new housing in major cities, local municipalities issued nearly one third as many new permits for construction of residential buildings in the last quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. The information came from National Statistics Institute data and comes in spite of a constant rise in property prices, especially in urban areas.
Compared to the previous quarter, the issued building permits for residential buildings rose by 3.5% to 1 910, and for dwellings - by 39.6% to 12 394, as well as their gross building area - by 32.9%.