Caretaker Prime Minister Galab Donev officially assumed the reins of power on Tuesday. Outgoing PM Kiril Petkov used the occasion to list the coalition government's accomplishments. He denied that the country faced disaster, and added that politicians, lobbyists, and brokers were exploiting political instability to sow fear. He claimed that their goal was to make Bulgarians forget who had turned their country into the poorest in the European Union and one riddled with corruption.
New crisis, new government
Preserving national security against the backdrop of war in the region, guaranteeing energy supplies, overcoming the dangers of a food crisis, fighting corruption, and fair elections - these were the priorities outlined by President Rumen Radev to ministers in his fourth caretaker cabinet which will be headed by Prime Minister Donev.
"The responsibility to deal with challenges that didn't exist in the previous three caretaker governments has fallen on you," the head of state told ministers. He emphasized the difficult situation confronting the new cabinet, citing public fatigue over endless electioneering, the prospect of gas shortages next winter, poor road infrastructure and protests by industry organizations, and the lack of ready laws under the European Recovery and Resilience Plan.
Problems with Turkish Stream procedure
The Turkish Stream inspection, ordered by Kiril Petkov, has revealed several serious procedural infringements, including violations of environmental and labor legislation, and in the conduct of public procurement, as well as in the financing of activities, among other issues, the government press center announced today.
The Turkish Stream gas pipeline passes through the country and was built with state money (3 bln levs) but Bulgaria cannot use a single molecule of what Gazprom transits to Serbia and Hungary.
The press center added that Petkov got acquainted with the results of the inspection on August 1, and has referred the report to the Ministry of the Interior and the National Security Agency.
Political uncertainty poses risks to absorption of euro funds
Renewed political uncertainty in Bulgaria may hinder progress on the necessary reform legislation and investments under the European Recovery and Resilience Plan Plan, the credit rating agency DBRS Morningstar wrote in an analysis. This may lead to a delay in the absorption of European funds and endanger the country's prospects, the agency also noted.
Bulgaria should receive 5.7 billion euros or 8% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). under the Plan. They must be received by the end of 2026. According to the cohesion policy of the EU, the country should receive an additional 10 billion euros for the new program period (2022-2027).