On Thursday, this week's last working day, Bulgarian parliamentarians worked on several media-related topics. First, they decided that the nominations for head of the National TV (BNT) will have to be submitted by 27 May, while hearings of the candidates will take place a month later, on 27 June. MPs also approved two of the nominations for members of the Council of Electronic Media (SEM), Bulgaria's independent media regulator, who will in turn decide the next BNT head. Constitutionalist and media law expert Simona Veleva and journalist and long-time human rights advocate Prolet Velkova are the two new members of the council. In other news:
TISP demands that cabinet submits Euro adoption plan for Parliament's approvalAnother parliamentary scandal looked to be brewing after showman Slavi Trifonov's party almost blew the ruling coalition over the (unsuccessful) attempt to get financier Lyubomir Karimanski (TISP) elected as chairman of the National Bank.
On Thursday, Mr Karimanski himself said that they will insist that the plan for the accession of Bulgaria in the Eurozone, adopted today at the Council of Ministers meeting, ought to be presented to Parliament. "Joining the euro will increase the value of our economic production. What matters is how we resist shock inflation. This plan should not be adopted in haste and in the dark," Mr Karimanski said in parliament. In fact, the plan has long been available on the National Bank website.
Former Prime Minister Stefan Yanev launches his "Bulgaria Ascends" party
After ex-caretaker Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Stefan Yanev officially announced on his Facebook profile the creation of a new political party called Balgarski Vazhod ("Bulgarian Ascension/Rise"), the official inauguration of the party took place on Thursday. Mr Yanev, who was dismissed from his post because of his controversial actions and statements on the war in Ukraine in March said that the new party will seek to be a "new, meaningful and useful formation for the society, which will be a bridge between the citizens and the state authorities." He also criticized the ruling coalition over its handling of the Ukraine arms and Russian gas issues, hinting that his new formation would seek a less confrontational policy vis-a-vis Moscow.
State is short of 26,000 spaces for Ukrainian refugees as holiday season starts
The state is seeking shelter for about 26,000 Ukrainian refugees who are currently housed in private hotels, which have to be vacated by the end of May to make space for tourists coming to Bulgaria from the start of the holiday season on 1 June. Currently, 59, 085 Ukrainians have been accommodated in hotels and the available vacancies, mostly in state, municipal and departmental facilities, have a capacity of up to 33,00 people, according to Mariana Tosheva, who headed the Task Force for Refugees last week.