Bulgaria’s ruling coalition, led by Bulgarian Socialist party (BSP) voted a controversial amendment to the National Budget Law that would allow for 1 billion BGN (EUR 502 M) new sovereign debt issue. The ruling coalition overturned the veto imposed earlier by president Rosen Plevneliev by a majority of members of Parliament supported by the ultra-nationalist Ataka political party.
Only 11 MPs from Ataka party attended the parliamentary session without its chairman Volen Siderov being present. The members of the anti-EU and anti-semitic party provided all available votes and ensured the majority needed for the veto to pass. Combined together, BSP and its other ally, Movement for Rights and Freedom, only have 120 seats, thus making it dependant on external support for the one vote needd for simple majority.
President Plevneliev imposed a partial veto on the Law on Amending and Supplementing the State Budget Act for 2013, saying the government had not shown enough transparency in public spending. The president insisted on more information about how the new debt of BGN 1 billion would be spent.
The presidential criticism was supported by by the county’s leading employers’ association KRIB and by Bulgaria’s leading economists.
According to Georgi Ganev from the Center of liberal Strategies, the budget update is unnecessary and its main purpose is to boos populist measures needed for the government to survive.
The budget update was voted in a practical blockade of Sofia center and parliament building by 63-day long anti-government protests. To counter-fight it, the ruling coalition organised a support meeting with event more than 70 chartered buses from all over Bulgaria delivered pro-government fans to counterweight the anti-government atmosphere that prevails around the parliament for more than two months.
Citizens of Sofia and other big towns of Bulgaria have protested for more than two months now, insisting on immediate government resignation and new elections. The anti-government wave of protests was sparked on the 14th of June when parliament appointed the controversial Delyan Peevski, a 33-year old member of parliament, businessman and media mogul, as a head of the National Security Agency. Peevski’s media empire consists of tabloids, web media and TV stations known for their high political bias and low ethical standards.