On Thursday Socialist leader Kornelia Ninova returned unfulfilled the third and last exploratory mandate to form a new cabinet within the current parliament to President Rumen Radev, opening the way toward dissolution of parliament and early elections. Mr Radev used the occasion to castigate the outgoing ruling coalition for issues in the energy sector. In return, Ms Ninova lambasted the president for being an "accomplice" to the coalition that brought down the cabinet. In other news
Parliament brings back Ivan Ivanov as energy regulator head
After the Constitutional Court ousted the chairman of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (KEVR) Stansilav Todorov last week, on Thursday Parliament hastily voted to bring back his predecessor - Ivan Ivanov, who was considered a GERB and MRF nomination. The compromise - which saw half of WCC's MPs voting in favor of the motion, proposed by GERB and backed by MRF and TISP - was needed because otherwise the most regulated industry in Bulgaria would have practically been blocked amidst an intensifying energy crisis.
Outgoing PM Petkov presents the last 7 priorities of his cabinet, including a new LNG deal
On one of the last working days of the current government, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov outlined seven tasks that his cabinet would take on on Monday. The most notable point on the agenda of the Council of Ministers is on the offer by the Energy Ministry to sign a contract for seven cargo ships with liquefied natural gas in order to improve energy security and secure consumption for the months from October of this year to April 2023. The contract with a still unknown company relies on the condition that next month the caretaker government will ensure the availability of transit capacity for deliveries from Greece and Turkey. The contract is to be signed on Thursday with the possibility to be confirmed by 19 August. The price is about 30 USD below European market prices, according to Mr Petkov.
Business and science join hands in a BGN 2 billion programme
Business, industry and science will conduct joint research and create new technological solutions and advanced products. Over the next seven years, more than 2 billion BGN will be invested in improving their interaction and developing more innovations under Bulgaria's new Research, Innovation and Digitalisation for Smart Transformation programme, which was announced by the Ministry of Education on Thursday. The programme is currently undergoing public consultations and is expected to be adopted by the Council of Ministers and the European Commission by the end of the year. The programme has two main priorities - "Sustainable development of the Bulgarian research and innovation ecosystem" and "Digital transformation of the public sector." Comments on the draft programme can be uploaded on the Public Consultation Portal until 26 August.