Businesses to bid for 1 billion levs in European funds
In the first half of 2023 the Ministry of Innovation and Growth plans to open applications for a total of seven programs under which companies will be granted more than 1 billion levs. Part of the funding comes under the auspices of the Recovery and Sustainability Plan (RPP); the rest is via the new "Competitiveness" program. Funding will also be available under the new program for scientific research, innovation and digitization.
Court convicts journalist for defaming senior judge
In a ruling that further raises the issue of press freedom in Bulgaria, the Sofia Appellate Court has ordered journalist Boris Mitov and media website Mediapool to jointly pay 4000 levs to civil judge Svetlin Mihailov. This came after Mediapool articles cited the judge's alleged proximity to pro-Turkish political party DPS.The court ruled this was a "disgraceful slur". Legal fees and accrued interest covering the last four years must also be paid as well as compensation for Mihailov, which ends up doubling the sum owed, Mediapool reports.
At the first instance, they were ordered to pay 60 thousand levs after the acting judge in the case ruled that the case was characterized by insult and defamation.
Cheaper vignettes, no hike in toll prices
The government is to postpone the increase in toll fees for heavy goods vehicles. This was supposed to happen on January 1, 2023, but on December 22, one working day before the Christmas holidays, a draft decree was published for public consultation. The reasons cited for postponing the new toll prices - are high inflation, COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine.
Vignettes for passenger cars will also be reduced, it was also recently announced. So promised revenues of about 800 million levs, instead of the current 550 million levs, will not, after all, materialize any time soon.