Parliament became acrimonious on Thursday after Prime Minister Kiril Petkov's coalition partner Slavi Trifonov accused Petkov of treason for circumventing the rest of the coalition and dropping Sofia's veto over the start of Skopje's EU accession process. TISP said maintaining the veto is a "red line" for the party, while WCC claimed that the Prime Minister had not made any commitment over dropping the veto and that Trifonov was merely speculating. In other news:
Resilience and Recovery plan approved by EU Commission head
After six months of negotiations and four postponements, Bulgaria received the green light from the European Commission for its Resilience and Recovery plan. Sofia will receive 6.27 billion euros (12.5 billion BGN) in grants from the EU budget to implement 53 projects and 47 reforms by the end of 2026. The projects are spread across four areas: green and digital transition (which gets the lion's share of almost 60% of the allocated funds), modernization, social action, education and health. All projects must be completed by the end of 2026 with money for incomplete ones forfeited. The official approval of the draft came after Thursday's visit by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to Sofia.
Sofia Municipal Council names street next to Russian Embassy "Heroes of Ukraine"
After a heated 3-hour long debate, Sofia councilors approved three motions designed to express the capital's solidarity with Ukraine. The first is to rename a street next to the Russian Embassy "Heroes of Ukraine". The second is to rename a small square nearby - "Boris Nemtsov," after the assassinated Russian dissident. The third is to raise the Ukrainian flag next to the Bulgarian and EU flags on the facade of the Municipal building in the center of Sofia.
RIA sticks to bad practice, allocates 2.4 billion BGN to maintenance firms
The Road Infrastructure Agency (RIA) announced on Thursday its intention to allocate 2.4 billion BGN for seven road maintenance projects in the next three years in such a way that favors large companies over small ones. (The latter are often, in reality, subsequently designated as subcontractors and actually complete the repairs.) This runs counter to pledges that this model of funding, propagated by GERB in the previous government, would be abolished.