Happy 8 March, International Women's day! Unfortunately, a survey by the KNSB trade union and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Bulgaria, revealed that more than half of Bulgarian women work in the lower paid sectors of the economy, earning about a quarter less than the average salary.
In other news, according to the National Statistics Institute (NSI), Bulgarian GDP growth in 2021 compensated almost entirely for the economic downturn in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. The preliminary figure NSI gives for GDP growth in 2021 is 4.2 percent, while the economy contracted by 4.4 percent in 2020. Talking about the effects of the pandemic
Covid deaths reach 36,000 two years after first cases
Exactly two years since Bulgarian authorities announced its first cases of Coronavirus, and after four waves of the pandemic, the proven death toll from the disease is precisely 35,923. Just on Tuesday 91 people succumbed to Covid-19, although the number of new cases, and patients in intensive care, has declined in recent weeks. The number of fully vaccinated Bulgarians now stands at just over 2,05 mln.
Bulgaria "not alone" in resisting a full ban of Russian gas imports to the EU: Petkov
While EU members still mull extending sanctions against Russia to include gas and crude oil imports, Bulgaria is not alone in opposing such moves, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov told journalists. Petkov reiterated his view, as previously expressed to Reuters, that Bulgaria fully supports Ukraine in its struggle for freedom, and all the measures against Russia. An exception, however, would be the planned suspension of oil and gas imports, because this would place a great strain on the economy. He said the authorities are preparing contingency plans for all scenarios and there is no risk to gas and oil supplies to Bulgaria if imports from Russia are suspended.
Record electricity prices, gas doubles price since the beginning of March
Bulgarian business is starting to feel the effects of Russia's war against Ukraine. The price of electricity on the free market on Monday reached a new record - 839.61 BGN per MWh i- n the wake of concerns about gas supplies and the surge in prices. The same goes for gas prices, whose futures traded for 287 euro per MWh on the Dutch TTF exchange, where Bulgaria's Bulgargaz trades with Gazprom. For comparison - the previous record from Friday, 4 March was 190 euro/MWh. Employers' organizations called for continued and increased state compensation for businesses over the price crisis.