After the caretaker cabinet fired and replaced 25 out of 28 regional governors yesterday, on Friday it continued its policy of reshuffling positions. It replaced the head of the Revenue Agency Rumen Spetsov and the head of the Customs Agency Pavel Tonev. It seems that Radev's new cabinet is determined to reverse the actions of its predecessors.
Radev's cabinet blocked gas connection with Greece
The gas link to Greece, which was expected to provide a route for cheap Azeri gas and other alternative supplies, will not be ready this September. There is even a risk that it will not start to operate at all in the coming months at all. This results from new energy minister Rosen Hristov's surprise decision to cancel the appointments for the certification of the gas pipeline. This is a mandatory condition, set by Bulgarian and Greek regulators.
Petkov attacks caretaker cabinet's decisions
Former Prime Minister Kiril Petkov has criticized the caretaker cabinet's actions on Facebook. He noted that it has created a gas crisis center, but there is no information about the seven delivery ships, which Bulgaria expects. Also, he says that the caretaker cabinet has failed to start a dialog with Turkey about free port space for the ships.
Another problem is the interconnector with Greece. "There is a risk of delay of the deadline set by the regulators. This means a delay in the reduction in the price of gas. Why? Putting the connection into operation will save millions," writes Petkov.
He also attacked the replacement of the head of the National Revenue Agency and changes to the rules regarding Bulgaria's preparation for entering the so-called club of the rich, the OECD - rules that the Petkov government had previously adopted.
"This is a watershed moment for Bulgaria.The (old) model, based on feudal dependencies, behind-the-scenes moves, and retrograde strategies is attacking (the country) from every angle," concludes Petkov, in a swipe at what he perceives as the old order of governance that preceded him.
Russia expels 14 Bulgarian diplomats and blames Petkov
Moscow has expelled 14 Bulgarian diplomatic employees from its embassies in Russia. The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs specified that they are four Bulgarian diplomats and ten technical employees from Bulgaria's diplomatic representations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg. They must now leave the country within 120 hours.
The Russian Foreign Ministry justifies this as a countermeasure to the Bulgarian decision to expel 70 employees of the Russian institutions, to introduce quotas for the diplomatic and administrative-technical staff of Russia in Bulgaria, and to temporarily close the Consulate General in Ruse.
"We want to emphasize that the responsibility for the consequences of these counterproductive steps lies entirely with Kiril Petkov's government," adds the Russian ministry.