Against the background of rising political tension, another familiar contentious topic has re-emerged - that of anti-Covid measures. Today the Sofia Regional Health Inspection curtailed the duration of the new anti-epidemic measures in the capital. The wearing of masks in malls, public transport, and pharmacies, will now only be enforced until 19 August. Originally, this measure was supposed to last until the end of the month.
BSP complains of "purges and revanchism" in caretaker gov't
The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) has accused the new caretaker cabinet of carrying out "purges and revanchism" and has blamed President Rumen Radev. During a briefing, BSP's deputies Georgi Svilenski and Borislav Gutsanov noted that Gergana Alexova, deputy general director at the National Railway Infrastructure Company, and a member of the BSP, had been fired from the new cabinet.
Svilenski and Gutsanov said there were no objective reasons for this decision, and "this is a targeted attack against the BSP". Svilenski repeated the longstanding grievance of the party's chairman Kornelia Ninova, that the presidential institution "uses and humiliates the BSP".
Gas prices up 60%
The Commission for Energy and Water Regulation will approve the new price of natural gas on 9 August. It looks almost certain that it will be nearly 60% higher than the one for July, and will reach almost 300 levs for mWh. The application for this price increase has already been submitted to the regulatory commission by the state-owned Bulgargaz and triggered discussions about the cost, whether Russian gas will be bought through intermediaries and whether gas supplies from "Gazprom" should continue.
CEWR's chairman, Ivan Ivanov, reiterated that the commission does not have the authority to determine the price of gas, but only approves it by following the relevant pricing formulas. In practice this means that the price depends on who supplies the gas and under what contracts.
Petkov's last act was to close the State Oil Company
At its last session on Tuesday, Petkov's cabinet closed the State Oil Company, established during the "Borisov 3" cabinet, according to a decision by the Council of Ministers. Thus, Petkov's cabinet fulfilled one of its pre-election promises, included in the coalition agreement.
The state-owned oil company was established in 2020 under GERB's management to intervene in the fuel market by selling fuel at a minimal markup.