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March 2017
Bulgaria's business, economy and politics explained in 64 pages of quality reporting

Stories in this report

Exotic coalitions could emerge after upcoming snap vote

The fragmentation of Bulgarian party politics makes it very difficult to pursue a coherent reform program

Difficult coalition building ahead

GERB still has better chances to form a government than BSP

Is ex-PM Borissov trying to lose the elections?

The two-time PM may try to repeat the 2013-2014 feat, expecting BSP to fail again

Slavi Trifonov: How to run the country from the TV screen

A famous TV host wants to change the electoral system in an attempt to root out the existing political class. Majoritarianism will most probably solidify it

Air force chief soaring to presi dency

Six months ago Rumen Radev was Air Force Commander almost unknown to the public. Today he’s arguably the most important person in Bulgarian politics.

The politics of justice

Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov uses his unchecked powers to harass politicians, while Bulgarians still wait to see the first successful anti-corruption investigation against a politician

Veselin Mareshki: The wanna-be Bulgarian Donald Trump

He promises cheaper fuel, cheaper medications and labor camps for corrupt politicians. He also doesn’t care who will become his coalition partner, so expect him in the next cabinet

Hristo Ivanov: The anti-corruption warrior

The ex-justice minister is one of the very few Bulgarian ministers who has resigned after realizing he can’t achieve his political goals. Then, he launched his own party to pursue them.

Education Meets Business: Mind the gap

The new edition of the Bulgarian university ranking system shows a better connection between education and the job market, but there is still lack of specialists in some business fields

Bulgaria in Trump’s World

The European Union is again tremendously important

Building Irrelevancy in EU

Bulgaria’s decision to delay the nomination of its new European Commissioner because of domestic political expediency adds to the feeling in Brussels that the country is a second-class member state

Neighbours without benefits

Sofia doesn’t know how to handle the big country at its South Eastern border and the growing instability in Turkey creates a long-term risk for Bulgaria

First fiscal surplus since 2008 – is it sustainable?

A prolonged political instability may lead to U-turn of the current possitive fiscal policy

Bulgaria’s current account surplus hits a record high in 2016

A sign of increased competiveness of the national economy

Regional Wage Trends

The manufacturing sector is pushing wages up

Sofia Tech Park: Innovation delayed

More than a year after its official opening and four CEOs later the first technology park in Bulgaria still faces unclear future

The bumpy road to a toll system

The procurement procedure for a road toll system has been going on for ten months and there is no sign that it will be finalized soon

Techno War

The owner of Technomarket Delayn Peeveski has found a way to make his company thrive – by not paying its dues

Belgium’s Spadel buys Devin water bottler

The transaction values the Bulgarian company at €120 million

Portugal’s BA Vidro buys Drujba Glassworks

Greece’s Yioula sells Bulgaria’s second largest glass producer

Cuts in Progress

Two years after the biggest IT deal in Bulgaria’s corporate history - the acquisition of Telerik by the US Progress - high expectations meet not so rosy reality

Software industry: first signs of fatigue?

In 2016 the sector slowed down a little after years of frantic growth

Good news for metallurgy in 2017

Steel production has recovered after eight years of decline and non-ferrous metal production remains stable

A calm before the storm?

After a wild ride at the end of 2016, Bulgarian stock market is looking for direction

More and more united

Belgium’s KBC acquires UBB, the fourth-largest lender in Bulgaria, for 610 million euro in the biggest bank merger in the southeast European country

The review of insurers and pension funds finds no significant problems

The issue of related party investments is noted by the regulator but is not addressed head on

Is Winter Coming for Bulgarian Coal?

Bulgaria’s energy system will need to go through major transformation to meet the requirements of the new EU policy drive for clean energy

CEZ mulls possible withdrawal from Bulgaria

The Czech power utility company has had twelve years of bumpy presence in the country

Is Gazprom losing its grip over Bulgaria?

The Russian gas giant will need to adjust its long-term contract prices according to spot prices

This peculiar beast, the Bulgarian entrepreneur

A small but growing group of young people that doesn’t worship rules and rarely fears the unknown strives to be the engine of growth in the country

The words you need to know this month

Sorosoids vs. Rubladzhii. Brown media. StaLbilnost (StaLbility)

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