For the fourth time in 2 years, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) has returned the third mandate to form a regular government to President Rumen Radev. This means that Bulgaria will have yet another election in the spring.
After brief talks, BSP decided that it was unable to form a government, with WCC and DB resisting any overtures. The former coalition partners in the previous government were unable to forge any common ground.
BSP leader Kornelia Ninova indicated that she had made maximum efforts to form a government by uniting four priorities - Schengen, the Recovery and Resilience Plan, the 2023 budget and judicial reform, but no agreement could be reached.
Stoyanov: Bulgaria needs to invest in the army
Caretaker Defense Minister Dimitar Stoyanov has complained that no modernization of the Bulgarian army could be envisioned any time soon because of insufficient funding.
Stoyanov insists that at least 2.5% of the GDP should be allocated annually for the modernization of the Bulgarian army in place of the current 1.85%.
The caretaker government submitted a draft program for priority investment spending by the Ministry of Defense until 2032 with 13 modernization projects allocated. Ten of them should be finalized by 2026.
Regulator approves large-scale dairy merger
The Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) has approved the large-scale merger of two Greek-owned milk processing companies: Sliven's Tirbul has won approval to buy Plovdiv's United Milk Company.
The deal has been authorized even though the regulator finds that in some segments the transaction may have an impact on competition. The combined annual turnover of the new merged entity will amount to nearly BGN 200 million.
Last September, it was reported that Greek dairy producer Delta Foods had agreed to sell 100% of the shares in its Bulgarian subsidiary United Dairy Company to Tirbul.