Commission: Paper and electronic votes counted collectively in election
The Central Election Commission (CEC) has decided to record the total number of machine votes and paper ballots in the forthcoming April 2 election collectively. Representatives from GERB, DPS, and BSP had backed the decision. This means that it will no longer be possible to make a distinction between data from electronic devices and votes from paper ballots.
The decision led to the resignation of Tsvetozar Tomov, one of the members elected by Democratic Bulgaria. "The new rules bring huge risk to protect the security and fairness of the vote, because we do not provide an opportunity to compare the two types of voting," Tomov claimed.
Gas interconnection with Serbia will be dearer
The project to build the gas connector between Bulgaria and Serbia looks set to become significantly more expensive after procedural delays. From the annex published in the public procurement register, it is clear that the agreed price of BGN 139.8 million without VAT will increase by 32.6% to BGN 183.4 million.
This increase in price by BGN 43.6 million is due to inflation over the past year and was calculated on the basis of the Methodology for Indexation of Public Procurement Contracts, which was adopted by President Radev's office at the end of 2022.
Bulgaria tops EU for export growth
After a year of record sales and high prices, Bulgaria marked the highest export growth of any EU country in 2022. This increased by 39% compared to 2021, according to Eurostat's preliminary data. The growth of over 240% in fuels and energy sold abroad, as well as over 150% in vegetable and animal oils and fats, contributed to the strong result.
The sectors from which Bulgaria traditionally exports - materials, machinery and equipment, and chemicals - are also performing well and have grown at double-digit rates.
All EU countries reported double-digit growth in their exports - between 14% and 39%.