Both of K Insights newsletters will be off for August. In their place every Friday you will get a news summary. No need to do anything, just enjoy the summer and we will see you in September.
Parliament approves 2023 budget bill after a 21-hour long session
The National Assembly gave final approval to the 2023 budget bill in a marathon session that began at 9 AM on Thursday and lasted almost 21 hours. Shortly before 6 AM on Friday, MPs cast their final vote on the financial framework, which will abide by the EU-mandated 3% deficit rule. "Good morning and happy budget," National Assembly Speaker Rosen Zhelyazkov said after the last provision of the bill was adopted and just before he closed the session. Finance Minister Assen Vassilev thanked the lawmakers for the work done and clarified that the budget was within the parameters originally set. "Thank you to everyone who managed to endure this marathon for over 20 hours. The budget has a 3% deficit, with a serious capital programme, with one reallocation of part of the capital expenditure to additional (wage?) payments in the amount of about BGN 300 million," Mr Vassilev told journalists after the session.
Only three Bulgarian prosecutors have applied for 7 positions open by EPPO
So far only three magistrates have submitted applications for 7 vacancies in the fifth procedure for the selection of Bulgarian prosecutors to work at the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) headed by the former director of the Romanian anti-corruption agency Laura Kovesi. Among the candidates is criminal investigator Boyko Atanasov, who was interviewed several times in previous procedures, but his nomination was rejected by the prosecutorial college of the Supreme Judicial Council. The other two are Georgi Balkov from the District Prosecutor's Office in Pleven and Monika Mihailova-Mitova from the Sofia District Prosecutor's Office. The fifth procedure for selecting European delegated prosecutors to work on cases related to EU financial interests, embezzlement and misuse of EU funds was opened at the end of June. Two years after the start of the European Public Prosecutor's Office, the Bulgarian quota is still not fully filled, because very few local magistrates apply for the EPPO positions, while the office has rejected some of the nominated candidates because they did not meet the requirements.
Silvia Azdreeva becomes first Bulgarian woman to climb K2
Mountaineer Silvia Azdreeva became the first Bulgarian woman to climb the second highest peak in the world, K2 (8611 m). She reached the summit at 12:53 local time together with Pasang Ngima Sherpa. Ms Azdreeva was a member of a group of climbers led by Nirmal Purja and the climb was confirmed by the Elite Exped company. More than a hundred people have climbed K2 in recent days. For Ms Azdreeva, this is her third ascent of an eight-thousander, after last year she climbed Everest (8848 m) and Lhotse (8516 m). So far, two Bulgarians have climbed K2, which is considered the most difficult of all peaks higher than 8000 meters - Boyan Petrov in 2014 and Stefan Stefanov in 2019.Two others - Peter Unjiev and Atanas Skatov, died during their ascent.