Rearming ground forces with 155 mm howitzers
After being unable to equip Bulgarian ground forces with new NATO armored fighting vehicles for years, the Ministry of Defense has now launched a more modest project to modernize the infantry's weapons systems. According to the new plan, there will be gradual rearmament of the army with NATO's 155 mm self-propelled howitzers.
The project is part of the Program for Priority Investment Expenditures by 2032 which caretaker defense minister Dimitar Stoyanov submitted to Parliament today.
It can be expected that potential contractors of the program may receive requests for non-binding offers (request for information or RFI) as early as January.
Denkov does not want a coalition
The candidate for prime minister of We Continue the Change (WCC) party, Nikolay Denkov, said that an offer for ministerial positions will be made to the Socialist Party and Bulgarian Rise but such an offer to GERB and DPS is impossible.
However, Denkov emphasized that WCC is not thinking of proposing a coalition government agreement, but rather of governing by majority on certain policies. His position alienated Bulgarian Rise as a potential partner after the leader of the political force, Stefan Yanev, announced that he would not support a draft cabinet if there was no agreement to guarantee that someone would bear political responsibility for its actions.
Denkov explained that a minister from GERB or DPS in his cabinet would mean a coalition agreement, which is not what WCC wants.
Wages vs inflation
Hourly wages in Bulgaria increased by 16.2% in the third quarter of 2022, compared to the like period of last year, the National Statistical Institute said.
These expenses of employers grew by 12% year-on-year in the first quarter, and in the second they rose by 14.4%.
The highest rate of growth of total labor costs was registered in the hospitality and restaurants industry - by 23.4%, followed by mining industry with 19.4%, and public administration with 19.2%.
At the same time, annualized consumer price inflation was in the double digits throughout the third quarter of 2022 - 18.7 in September, 17.7% in August and 17.3% in July, according to NSI.