Inflation hits new high in September
Bulgaria's galloping inflation reached 18.7% in September on an annual basis, according to National Statistical Institute data. Compared to a year ago, all products are more expensive by between 2% and 30%. Inflation now exceeds levels seen at the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008 and is now comparable to levels reached at the end of 1998. In just one month, the price of the consumer basket rose 1.2%, although individual goods became cheaper compared to August.
Prices are forecast to continue rising over the next few months, with the Bulgarian National Bank only expecting inflation to drop from its peak levels next year.
Russian accusations about Bulgaria appear unfounded
Several inconsistencies cast doubt on the Russian version of Bulgarian involvement in the Crimean bridge blast 10 days ago. On October 12, Moscow implicated Bulgaria for the second time in the explosion of the Kerch Bridge. But Russia's accusations look increasingly like a propaganda campaign.
In their first statement, Vladimir Putin and the chairman of the Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, claimed that a truck with explosive devices had left Bulgaria in the direction of the Crimean bridge. However, an urgent probe by the Bulgarian authorities showed that the truck cited by Russia had never been here.
GERB depends on Democratic Bulgaria
GERB, the largest single party after the October 2 vote, continues to try to convince Democratic Bulgaria deputies to join talks on forming a government. GERB sees them as natural coalition partners because of leader Boyko Borissov's avowed aim of forming a cabinet based on Euro-Atlantic goals.
"We invited Democratic Bulgaria and we expect them to come to talks. I think that the foundation of a new government could be GERB and Democratic Bulgaria. If it doesn't happen, then we will go to new elections," Toma Bikov from GERB said, specifying that these will not be negotiations to form a government, but talks to find common goals.