On Friday Bulgaria's allegiance to NATO came into focus once again as Prime Minister Kiril Petkov spoke to BBC's "Hardtalk" program, where he assured the host that Bulgaria "has a strong voice in NATO and the EU" and that Sofia is a predictable member of the North Atlantic alliance. At the same time, Western media reports claim that NATO has decided to boost its troop presence on the Eastern flank in the coming weeks, including in Bulgaria, with the official announcement expected to come next week. In other news:
The clash between MRF and Prime Minister Petkov goes to a new phase
MRF leader Mustafa Kardaya said his party will seek the involvement of the State Prosecution over the plans announced by Finance Minister Assen Vassilev to extend the investigation of the financial record of MRF MP Delyan Peevski. The party called the actions "repression" and protested against them in Parliament, where they openly attacked Prime Minister Petkov for "collaborating" with businessman (and publisher of Capital weekly and KInsights) Ivo Prokopiev. In turn, Mr Prokopiev said he will sue four MPs from MRF, including Mr Kardaya, for defamation over the "unprecedented media attacks" against him in recent weeks.
Parties have 20 days to nominate new National Bank governor, deputies
The National Assembly approved the procedural rules for the nomination of the next governor of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) and two of the bank's deputy governors. Parliamentary parties will have 20 days from today to propose their nominations, who will take over governor Dimitar Radev (whose mandate expired on 15 July 2021) and his deputies Nina Stoyanova (head of the banking unit) and Kalin Hristov (issue department), whose mandates have also finished.
First flight between Sofia and Skopje takes place on Friday morning
The symbolic first flight between the capitals of N. Macedonia and Bulgaria took place on Friday morning, covering the 175 km distance between the two cities in 30 minutes. The flight is operated by the GullivAir company and was launched less than a month after a breakthrough meeting between the new prime ministers of the two countries, Kiril Petkov and DImitar Kovachevski, met for the first time.