Parliament elects Speaker of the National Assembly
Parliament has finally chosen a Speaker after three days of discussion. A majority of 139 votes - from GERB, DPS, BSP and Bulgarian Rise - elected Vezhdi Rashidov as the Speaker of the National Assembly. We Continue the Change and Democratic Bulgaria remained opposed to him, and members of Vazrazhdane chose to abstain.
The election will now allow the 48th National Assembly to function after being blocked for the first three days due to opposition between the parliamentary groups, which made it impossible to gather the necessary number of votes to elect a Speaker.
Finance Ministry: 2023 deficit will be 6.6% of GDP
The Ministry of Finance predicts a gigantic deficit of 11.6 billion leva, or 6.6% of GDP, for the upcoming year.
More worrying still, based on forecasts for the development of the economy, the ministry predicts that the state's finances will be in the red by more than 11 billion leva in each of the upcoming three years. This translates into deficits short of 6% of the GDP, which will have to be financed with additional debt. At the end of 2025, the state's debt will double in nominal terms compared to its current level and will exceed 75 billion leva, or 38% of GDP.
Nationwide labor shortages surge demand for foreign workers
Bulgarian companies are being forced to import workers from other countries due to labor shortages. Currently, those are mostly people from the former Soviet republics in Asia - Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, but there are also quite a few Turks coming here because of the poor state of the Turkish economy.
Almost 830 work permits were issued in Bulgaria from January to September to people from the former Soviet republics. The documents are legally valid for up to 3 years. Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have been the two most preferred destinations for the "import" of unskilled labor in Bulgaria over the past couple of years.
Almost 10% of the staff of the largest chain of restaurants in the country - "Happy", are also foreigners, mainly from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey and Ukraine. That's about 300 people, most of whom work in the kitchens.