Banks predict modest growth in 2024
The banking sector and regulators are forecasting an uptick in the Bulgarian economy in 2024 with moderate GDP growth and continued decline in inflation, as well as a gradual easing of monetary policy tightening by the European Central Bank.
Prominent figures from the sector in attendance at the Banks and Business conference organized by Capital argued that lending will continue to grow next year, albeit at a more moderate pace. Bankers also predicted that the growth of interest rates on loans and deposits will remain smooth, and stressed the stability of the system.
Representatives also underlined that Bulgaria's entry into the Eurozone from January 1, 2025 was achievable, in the absence of new economic shocks, and that the banking system is ready for accession.
Bill to promote offshore wind submitted to parliament
A bill which sets a comprehensive framework for the development of offshore energy projects - mainly offshore wind in Bulgaria - has been submitted to parliament.
It was introduced by a group of MP's led by Ivaylo Mirchev (WCC-DB), Delyan Dobrev (GERB) and Ramadan Atalay (MRF), suggesting consensus on the issue. Experts from the Center for the Study of Democracy (CID) participated in the process.
The possibility of building wind turbines in the Black Sea is not currently regulated in Bulgaria. A year ago, the Energy Commission adopted at first reading a bill that regulates the construction but it was never voted on as parliament was dissolved a few weeks later.
Health ministry wrangle after sacking of Pirogov head
Tensions between GERB and WCC-DB boiled over again, this time over health. "Hristo Hinkov is not doing his job and everyone knows that. After the rotation he will not be the health minister," said former minister from GERB Kostadin Angelov, now also the head of the health commission in parliament.
His comments follow the recent axing of the head of Pirogov, Bulgaria's biggest hospital. Dr. Valentin Dimitrov's dismissal became a public issue after an internal report alleging corruption. Dimitrov had previously had close relations to GERB, however, he was appointed to lead Pirogov during Kiril Petkov's cabinet.