SOLVIT is an on-line problem solving network in which EU Member States work together to solve without legal proceedings problems caused by the misapplication of Internal Market law by public authorities.
“As Prime Minister, I made a commitment to make the necessary cuts, so that we can give a Christmas bonus of BGN 40 to pensioners with pensions of up to BGN 286, which is the poverty line”, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov announced after a meeting with Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov. The Prime Minister pointed out that the decision would affect about 1.3 million pensioners, and its implementation would require BGN 50 million. “This is not a small amount of money in this financial crisis. But when, as a result of that disastrous governance, we allocate billions to rescue banks, pensioners are right to ask how they would celebrate Christmas. We have always said that they deserve it”, Borissov said.
BGN 800 million would enter the Bulgarian economy, the Prime Minister pointed out
“Payments under OP Environment are being restored”, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said in Parliament. He cited a letter by European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu, in which she welcomes the positive steps taken by the Bulgarian authorities to improve and strengthen the management system of OP Environment. According to the European Commissioner, this was excellent news for the Bulgarian economy and the future cooperation between Bulgaria and the Commission.
We do not want the failures of the badly drawn up budget to be carried over to the next year, the Finance Minister said at a press conference after a government meeting
“The Council of Ministers approved a Law on Amendment and Supplementation of the Value Added Tax Act which includes amendments to other tax laws, as well as a Law on Amendment and Supplementation of the 2014 State Budget Law and would propose them to the National Assembly”, Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov said at a press conference after the extraordinary meeting of the government.
The Prime Minister predicted difficult first months for the next government and urged for reforms and support for the new cabinet
“I expect that this Friday we will have a new political government, elected by the National Assembly”, Prime Minister Georgi Bliznashki told reporters. The Prime Minister predicted difficult first months for the new government because of serious problems as a result of long-delayed decisions. “In practice, the Oresharski government’s term in office was a year lost; reforms are essential and some of them will be painful”, Prof. Bliznashki said and expressed hope the National Assembly “to go back to the spirit of humility, demonstrated at its first constituent meeting”.
The Prime Minister urged the National Assembly to adopt National Program Bulgaria in NATO and the European Defense 2020
“People appointed by the caretaker government, including regional governors, are intellectuals and individuals with proven reputation. There are no cases of violations by regional governors appointed by the caretaker government”, Prime Minister Georgi Bliznashki said in response to a question during parliamentary control. “My criterion for the appointment of regional governors has always been the same – these should be professionals with proven experience”, the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki presented the prominent Bulgarian writer with the Saint Paisius of Hilendar State Award for 2014
Prime Minister Prof. Bliznashki presented the 2014 Saint Paisius of Hilendar State Award to Academician Anton Donchev with gratitude for the spirit and the lesson in dignity the author has been teaching to generations of Bulgarians with his work and personal example. Anton Donchev is one of the best known Bulgarian writers, author of the novel Time of Parting. The award is given to the prominent writer for his outstanding contribution to the development of national cultural identity and spiritual values, as well as for his bright civil courage.
“Thank you that with your every word you bring us closer to our essence of a nation, worthy of its future”, Prime Minister Bliznashki said. He quoted the writer saying that dignity was the backbone of the individual and society, it was what held the head up and forehead high, what could not be bought or sold, and without which there was no society or an individual. “I tend to believe that our dignity is not limited to our ability to survive in difficult times, but it is rather our will to remain true to ourselves and preserve the essence of being individuals. This is the dignity of a nation of individuals, rather than survivors. There probably isn’t another such elegant and yet truthful “pen” to recreate this truth“, the Prime Minister said.
“There should be a government at any cost”, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki told reporters in Kotel regarding opportunities for establishment of a new regular cabinet. “I very much hope that in the next few days, especially after an exploratory mandate is given, talks will take on a more relaxed tone and a government will be formed”, the Prime Minister said.
“We hope that around November 10, this historic date associated with democratic changes in Bulgaria, we will have a new government, and we are all working towards this”, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki said at his meeting with President of the Republic of Austria Dr. Heinz Fischer, who is on an official visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of the Bulgarian Head of State.
“Over 90% of the priorities and objectives of the caretaker government are fulfilled, among which are all major commitments”, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki announced at a press conference after the meeting of the Council of Ministers. Prof. Bliznashki emphasized the organization and holding of free, democratic, fair and transparent elections with a legitimate outcome.
“We will submit a Bill amending the State Budget Act, as early as today or tomorrow” Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki told reporters in Parliament before the first session of the 43rd National Assembly. According to the Prime Minister, the State Budget update should be the first item on the agenda of the new National Assembly, as this was the only basis on which solutions to the numerous problems in the country could be sought. Prof. Bliznashki reminded that an agreement in principle was reached within the National Tripartite Council that a Budget update was necessary and inevitable.
“More than a century after the “Shipka of the Rhodopes”, the events of the Balkan war should make us reflect again on what we can do as Bulgarians in order to be united and determined when we setting a common national goal”, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki said at the official ceremony marking the 102nd anniversary of the liberation of the Rhodope mountains from Ottoman rule. The Prime Minister noted that the Bulgarian nation grew as such during people’s struggle for freedom and independence. He urged to follow the example of generosity and tolerance demonstrated by Bulgarian soldiers in the Balkan War.
“The question of transparency in organizing the elections on October 5 found an answer in the work of the Civic Board, which established itself as an indispensable form of dialogue between the authorities and civil society”, Prime Minister Prof Georgi Bliznashki said at the beginning of the final meeting of the Civic Board for Free and Transparent Elections. “Let's hope that after such a good job in there will be a new political government the near future”, the Prime Minister told Board members.
The Prime Minister met with NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Defense Policy and Planning Heinrich Brauss
Bulgaria would make every effort to fulfill its commitments as an effective member of NATO, Prof. Georgi Bliznashki said at a meeting with NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Defense Policy and Planning Heinrich Brauss. The High Representative of the Alliance is visiting the country to participate in the Industry Forum, which brought together representatives of the Bulgarian defense industry, academia and NATO agencies.
“The Bulgarian State places great importance on the 1000th anniversary of the death of the last great tsar of the First Bulgarian Empire – Samuel”, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki said during his welcome speech to participants and guests of the 3-day International Science Conference on “Southeast Europe in the second half of X - beginning of XI century. History and Culture”, organized by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The forum is part of the program to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the death of the Bulgarian ruler.
“Efforts of the caretaker government over the past two months to ensure a smooth electoral process are proving effective. The Cabinet did everything necessary to ensure a peaceful situation in the country”, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki said after casting his vote at the early parliamentary elections in John Atanasov Vocational High School of Electronics in the capital.
Prime Minister Prof Georgi Bliznashki expects employers and trade unions within the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation together to clarify their position on the draft law amending the 2014 State Budget Act and the budget of the National Health Insurance Fund. “The caretaker government has prepared a bill that the next National Assembly will rule on. It was our duty and we fulfilled it, as unpleasant as it is to deliver bad news to the public”, the Prime Minister told journalists.
“We are currently working on a budget update proposal, which will be presented to the social partners within the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation on Monday”, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki told reporters. The Prime Minister assured that the caretaker Government would prepare everything necessary in advance to create normal conditions for the next government and ensure a normal start of the work of the next National Assembly.
“Education is becoming the main criterion for success in Bulgarian society and it is time to reach a national consensus on problems in the sector, so that we can seize the opportunities that our membership in the European Union offers” , Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki said in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, where he opened a public discussion on Education titled “Bulgaria’s agenda - national goals and priorities”.
“The government has accurate estimates of available gas quantities, and under my order from beginning of September UGS Chiren is being filled, so that we can have maximum reserves and be prepared for a possible gas crisis”, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki told reporters in Dobrich. “We are doing everything possible to prepare for the worst possible scenario”, the Prime Minister assured.
“The situation is calm; people are getting ready for the elections. Regional and sectional committees are established by consensus. All measures have been taken to create conditions for the proper holding of elections”, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki told reporters in Veliko Tarnovo, where he was on the occasion of the 106th anniversary of Bulgarian Independence. In the old capital of Bulgaria, the Prime Minister spoke with Mayor Daniel Panov, Governor Georgi Kamarashev and Chairman of the City Council Nikolai Ashikov.
Election results would not be falsified, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki told reporters after the official opening ceremony of the 94th academic year of the University of National and World Economy in Sofia. “The work of the Civic Board for Free and Transparent Elections debunked one of the most persistent myths of the transition - the presence of “dead souls” in lists of registered voters. It became clear that this phenomenon has long been overcome and that, in fact, the lists of registered voters include Bulgarian citizens with permanent addresses and valid electoral rights”, the Prime Minister said and added there was no room for speculation on this topic.
True prosperity of society is built by professionals with strong civil positions, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki said at the opening ceremony of the 94th academic year of the University of National and World Economy. In his address to the governance, teachers and students of the University, the Prime Minister stressed that the knowledge in the field of economic and social sciences was a prerequisite for competitiveness and integration in the European and World Economic Area.
We debunked the myth of the presence of a large number of deceased people’s names in lists of registered voters, Prime Minister Georgi Bliznashki told reporters
“The school year will start normally in all areas affected by the disaster, the necessary has been done”, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki told reporters in the village of Golesh, Silistra. There, together with Minister of Education and Science Rumiana Kolarova, he opened a new wing and a gymnasium in Vasil Aprilov Primary Scool. “In this regard, we were able to cope and overcome the effects of disasters”, Prof. Bliznashki said.
Nearly 50% , or 30 out of 66 priorities and tasks of the caretaker government have been fulfilled and 35 are in the process of being carried out, a month after the Cabinet took office, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki reported during a press conference after the regular meeting of the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister pointed out that along with the organization of free and democratic elections, the government needed to stabilize the main social systems and the country’s governance. Prof. Bliznashki emphasized the revision carried out on key areas of governance and the serious problems that were identified. He added that this was accompanied by efforts to ensure the normal preparation of the elections. The Prime Minister also noted the establishment of the Civic Board for Free and Transparent Elections. Prof. Bliznashki assured that the official lists of registered voters did not include names of deceased people and that issued ID cards and passports matched registered voters lists. The Prime Minister highlighted the efforts to reduce vote-buying, as well as strict measures with respect to ballot printing.
Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki urged political parties and coalitions for more tolerance during the election campaign, which began on September 5. “Let us at least for a while forget the language of hate. May the election campaign be guided by arguments, rather than compromising materials and screaming in the streets. Let common sense prevail”, the Prime Minister urged in Chiprovtzi, where he was on a visit.
Prof. Bliznashki once again said that the upcoming elections were particularly important for the country. “The caretaker government took office, following a year of protests, in order to restore the basic values of democracy. This is why I want this election campaign to proceed normally. We are making efforts to ease tensions and ensure election platform competitiveness for the benefit of the entire nation, and so that this campaign does not lead to new divisions and tensions within our society”, the Prime Minister said .“The results should be accepted as they are and the winner must take responsibility for the country”, Prof. Blizanshki said.
The dialogue within the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation (NCTC) is resumed, in line with the priorities and objectives of the caretaker government. “With the inauguration of the caretaker government, public confidence in institutions is beginning to return. Today's meeting marks a new beginning of cooperation between the government, unions and employers”, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki, who opened the first NCTC meeting, said.
Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki and representatives of the Central Election Commission (CEC) and the Council for Electronic Media (CEM) discussed measures for more transparency and publicity with regards to preparations for the upcoming elections at a meeting in the Council of Ministers. At the meeting, first of its type, the Prime Minister was introduced to the work of the two institutions on the preparation of the election awareness campaign, as well as preventive work to ensure quality media monitoring and prevention of violations of the electoral process.
Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki had a meeting with regional governors to discuss preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections on October 5. Members of the Central Election Commission (CEC) were invited to take part in the meeting.
“Kristalina Georgieva has established herself as a professional and one of the leading authorities in the European Commission. Her re-nomination presents a great chance for Bulgaria. She will undoubtedly be influential, regardless of whether she becomes EU High Representative or takes another post”, Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki told reporters in the village of Bozhenitsa, regarding the EU summit, when leaders of the Union are expected to choose a President of the European Council and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
At a press conference after the regular meeting of the Cabinet, the Prime Minister announced the government decree establishing an Energy Board to the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister said that the situation in the Energy sector was very serious, the obligations of the National Electric Company were huge and that urgent measures were needed. He added that a new pricing model should be developed to determine the price of electricity. Prof. Bliznashki noted that inconsistent decisions had been taken over a long period in the sector and that too many mistakes had been made. According to him, an important issue was how to minimize the loss and the price which society would pay for these mistakes. The Prime Minister said that a drastic jump in the price of electricity was unacceptable and that a gradual increase should be rather sought in order to limit the negative effects on consumers.
Over BGN 27 million is needed for recovery works to overcome the consequences of disasters in the region of Asparuhovo and on the territory of Varna Municipality. This emerged from Prime Minister Bliznashki’s meeting with Varna Mayor Ivan Portnih. The meeting to discuss measures to overcome the consequences of floods was also attended by te newly appointed governor of Varna Stoyan Passev.
“Planning budget revenue targets for 2014, which will not be met within the adopted law, and increased spending for the first seven months of the year are the main problem of public finances at this stage”, Finance Minister Rumen Porodzanov said at a press conference after the meeting of the Council of Ministers during which the government was introduced to a report on the cash execution of the State Budget and the main indicators of the consolidated fiscal program (CFP) from the beginning of the year until July 31st.
The discrepancy between revenue planning and execution directly affects CFP , Porodzanov said. CFP deficit at the end of July was BGN 1, 147.2 million, formed as a result of a State Budget deficit of BGN 647 million and EU funds deficit in the amount of BGN 499.7 million. In comparison, the deficit for the same period of last year was BGN 167 million.
The organization and maintenance of order during the elections was the main duscussion topic at the National meeting of the leadership of the Ministry of Interior, held in the capital. Guests at the meeting were Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki, who praised the Ministry’s work on the preparation of the elections. “We are facing complex tasks, the main of which is the normal conduction of elections. Before that, however, we should stabilize all systems of society”, the Prime Minister said, stressing that a peaceful atmosphere in the country was necessary to ensure a normal election process.
The decision of the Interdepartmental Commission for Recovery and Assistance to allocate BGN 1 million in advance to cover immediate needs and payments made so far after the flood in Mizia will be discussed at the next meeting of the government, Prof. Georgi Bliznashki announced after the first meeting of the Commission in the Council of Ministers. There is also proposal to grant funds to other affected municipalities for emergency works and payments. The total amount exceeds BGN 16 million.
Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki described his conversation with European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva as extremely useful. Ms. Georgiva took part in today’s government meeting as a guest. “Several good ideas emerged, which we will adopt as government initiatives in the future”, Prof. Bliznashki said at a press conference after the meeting.
Prime Minister Bliznashki and Commissioner Georgieva discussed the situation in the region of Vratsa after the floods. Discussed were also the situation within the EU, various mechanisms through which Bulgaria could receive support, as well as Kristalina Georgieva’s candidacy for Vice-President of the European Commission and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki will assume the coordination of the electoral process in support of the activities of the Central Election Commission. This was announced by the Prime Minister in an interview for BNT, which will be broadcasted today after the evening news.
Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki attended the opening ceremony of the 43rd Congress of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), held today in Sofia. “The Congress is an acknowledgment of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria and the largest international trade union event held in the country”, the Prime Minister said in his address to delegates of the congress of the organization, founded in 1896.
The government approved the nomination of Kristalina Georgieva for the position of Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Prime Minister Georgi Bliznashki announced at a press conference after the first meeting of the caretaker government. Kristalina Georgieva is a member of the European Commission in charge of “International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response”. In 2010 she was named “Commissioner of the Year”. With her work so far, she has proven her competence and commitment to the European idea, as an expert whose independence is unquestionable.
“We are speeding up the work on application forms in order to quickly deal with the damage and receive resources under the European Solidarity Fund. The chance to receive funds is very large”,caretaker Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki said at a news conference after a government meeting regarding the floods that affected different regions of the country. The Prime Minister noted that the state budget had not been updated, and it turned out that the damage recovery fund was virtually exhausted. Prof. Bliznashki stressed that currently the government was seeking reserve funds and resources under various programs.
Outgoing Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski wished Prime Minister Georgi Bliznashki successful and fruitful work in the interests of all fellow citizens during the inauguration ceremony of the caretaker government. “Your success will be a success for all of us, not only in this room, but also across the country”, Oresharski told the Prime Minister.
“Our main task is to organize free and fair parliamentary elections. Obviously, it is necessary to restore the confidence of civil society in political institutions in the country. Our caretaker government will do everything possible to ensure that elections are organized and executed with the active participation of civil society”, caretaker Prime Minister Prof. Georgi Bliznashki said.
“Yesterday's debt issuance gave pretty good results. A ten-year interest rate below 3.1% is a really good score for investor confidence. This is the objective evaluation of investors ,who put money into our economy”, Prime Minister Oresharski told journalists in Brussels regarding the new issuance of bonds. “In relation to what is happening with Corporate Commercial Bank, we are monitoring the state of all other Bulgarian banks and I see no cause for concern on the part of citizens. The country has enough tools [to deal with the situation], including very good cooperation with the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB). We will support all BNB efforts, with instruments and resources, to not allow doubt in one institution or another”, the Prime Minister said. According to him, bank problems did not have a place in political speech. “It is not good, economically, bank problems to be obviously used for upcoming campaigns”, the Prime Minister.
“I have asked all experts in ministries and the Council of Ministers, engaged in operational programs, to reduce their summer holidays”, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Zinaida Zlatanova said and stressed that the preparation of the programming period was a national effort and an absolute priority for everyone involved.
“The Government adopted an updated version of the Partnership Agreement with the EC, which is the basis for finalizingnegotiations on this document and timely EU funding”,Deputy Prime Minister Zinaida Zlatanova said after today's meeting of the Council of Ministers. She pointed out that comments and observations by the EC had been taken into account in less than three weeks.“The agreement will be submitted to the EC tomorrow. We hope that it now largely corresponds to the expectations of our European partners and that this will speed up negotiation”", the Deputy Prime Minister said.
The European discussion on climate targets for the next 15 years was the focus of the meeting between Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski with European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard. “In principle, we support the reduction of emissions and improvement of all environmental parameters. At the same time, we retain some skepticism about the ultimate goals. We believe that they could be less ambitious. We will continue to actively participate in the debate with regard to the equitable distribution of the burden between Member States”, the Prime Minister said after the meeting. He stressed that climate targets must be balanced with economic development objectives and not contribute to the deterioration of the competitiveness of European economies as a whole.
“Earlier this month we received a formal notice from the European Commission which includes concerns and preliminary allegations of violations of EU“, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski told MPs in Parliament.
We increased the fiscal reserve by BGN 2 billion in a year, the Prime Minister said.
“This motion of no confidence affirmed the practice of the opposition to attack policies of the cabinet that the opposition failed most visibly at during their term in office”, Prime Minister Oresharski said in parliament after the motion of no confidence was not passed.
Commissioner Neven Mimica congratulated the Prime Minister and the Government for the commitment to the consumer protection policy
More effective consumer protection in a legislative and normative aspect was one of the highlights of the conversation between Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and European Commissioner for Consumer Policy Neven Mimica. The Prime Minister emphasized the upcoming second reading of the Consumer Protection bill, which implements the European Directive on the subject. Mr. Oresharski discussed with Mr. Mimica institutional matters, including best practices in European countries leading to the more effective work of regulatory authorities. “I mentioned to the Commissioner for our plans to merge the Commission for Protection of Competition and the Consumer Protection Commission. We were advised to draw from the Italian experience, where such a merger had been done”, the Prime Minister said. He stressed that for Bulgaria, as a new Member State, the fine tuning of the overall market architecture was extremely important so that Bulgarian citizens are better protected as consumers and businesses can operate in a more effective competition.
Senator John McCain expressed hope that the South Sream issue would be resolved in collaboration between Bulgaria and the EU.
“Such a high level visit on behalf of the U.S. during a crisis period in the development of the region is a sign of greater Euro-Atlantic solidarity”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said after meeting with U.S. Senators John McCain, Ron Johnson and Chris Murphy. They discussed the domestic political situation in the context of Eurosceptic tendencies in Europe. “Bulgaria is among the few countries that did not elect Eurosceptic MEPs”, the Prime Minister said.
Bulgarian citizens passed a serious the test at the last election – they did not elect a single eurosceptic Member of European Parliament
“When Europe is at a crossroads in terms of trends and there is an increasing tide of Euroscepticism, I am convinced that all of you will find the right way to enhance the centripetal, not the centrifugal force”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski told newly elected Members of European Parliament at a meeting initiated by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and “Press” newspaper.
Audit reports of OP Regional Development reveal that most errors occurred in the 2010-2013 period, the Prime Minister said in Parliament
“Implementation of the South Stream project whithin the framework of European legislation would be useful for our country”, Prime Minister Oresharski said in Parliament. In response to questions from MPs, he noted that he would not like to make a direct link between suspended payments under operational programs and the pipeline’s construction. “I do not think there is such a link, I wish there is no such link, and I have formal assurances from representatives of the EC that there is no such link”, the Prime Minister.
No firm decisions have been taken regarding the healthcare system since the beginning of the century, and therefore the system is not in a good state
“The financial glance shows that health issues in healthcare date back to the turn of the century. Different decisions were taken at different times, but the real debate suggests that they were never firm enough and therefore today the healthcare system is not in a good state”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski told MPs in the National Assembly.
The majority of social commitments outlined in the program a year ago, were met. Talks on the state of healthcare are forthcoming, the Prime Minister says
“I see this as a motion of confidence for continued efforts to recover the energy sector”, Prime Minister Oresharski said in the National Assembly, after the motion of no confidence was not passed. “Experience so far suggests that GERB has always selected weak for them motion of no confidence subjects. It would be great if the opposition explains to the public how they managed to spend BGN 8 billion – 4 billion reserves and 4 billion new debt in 3.5 years”, the Prime Minister said. He noted that he had not heard any objections to South Stream from GERB. Moreover - among the reasons of the motion of no confidence had been the delay of the project, which dated back a lot earlier.
Promotion of trade and investment between Bulgaria and Italy was one of the highlights of the conversation between Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and Unicredit Chairman Giuseppe Vita. The Prime Minister met today with Mr. Vita in the Council of Ministers on the occasion 50th anniversary of the banking institution.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi declared himself in favor of South Stream
“There are no open issues between Bulgaria and Italy. We discussed bilateral cooperation. Italy is a very important partner, first on our export list, as well as a major investor”, Prime Minister Oresharski said after meeting with his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi in Rome. The Prime Minister noted that both parties had agreed that they needed to support joint business initiatives.
“Visiting the Pope is always a challenge. I am particularly impressed by his personality – he is a very erudite man”, Prime Minister Oresharski said after an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis in the Vatican. “I used the occasion to thank for the established tradition each year a Bulgarian high-level delegation to visit the Pope and express our appreciation for the Holy See’s role in affirming the Bulgarian alphabet, which had become Slavic over the centuries”, the Prime Minister said. He thanked for the temple which had been an open issue for a certain period of time without Bulgarian language church service in Rome.
The government’s vision for the energy sector is liberalization of the energy market, return of balance in the system, diversification of supply routes and sources, said in the National Assembly, the Minister of Economy and Energy says
“The energy sector is part of national security with the relevant geopolitical, economic and social dimensions. This means that the management of its assets and the control of processes in the system should be subject public interest in addition to market principles . Through a series of decisions and investments, mainly foreign, that responsibility of the State was put on the edge. Long-term power purchase agreements, contracts for priority purchase of energy from renewable energy producers, sales of the remaining shares of the state in electricity distribution companies not only violated the balance and market principles, but also jeopardized the security of the entire energy system. The motives of the opposition for the motion of no confidence are a good representation of the energy sector as we found it a year ago”, Minister of Economy and Energy Dragomir Stoynev said today at a meeting of the National Assembly.
More European funding for interconnectors is necessary, the Prime Minister says
Energy and EU funds were among the main topics discussed at the meeting of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso . “We talked about gas interconnections and the need for more European funding because they are not commercial projects , but strategic ones”, Prime Minister Oresharski said after the meeting. The two also discussed the Southern Gas Corridor and South Stream in the context of energy security of the countries of South Eastern Europe and Bulgaria in particular.
After the elections will invite MEPs to discuss how we can work more effectively for the interests of Bulgarian citizens, the Prime Minister says
Unlike other elections, this one are important not only for us but for the whole of Europe. In this aspect, the vote is an expression of responsibility to all European citizens”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski after exercising his right to vote at the elections for Bulgarian representatives in the European Parliament. “I hope our 17 members work for a more unified and cohesive Europe in a world of many new challenges and risks, so that Bulgarian national interest is part of their efforts”, the Prime Minister added.
Your word is heard both here and there, President Mahmoud Abbas told Prime Minister Oresharski regarding Bulgaria’s friendly relations with both Palestine and Israel
“Bulgaria has friends throughout the region - virtually all countries. We would like to develop relations with all, including Palestine . We have always looked at efforts of the Palestinian people to establish their own state with great affinity. We will continue to support these efforts with all the opportunities that we have as a country - by expressing positions at multilateral forums and through the development of bilateral cooperation”, Prime Minister Oresharski said after his meeting with Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
It will be a great pleasure for us to develop relations between Bulgaria and Israel. For us it is a matter of not only business, but also friendship, President of Israel Shimon Peres said
“People are the wealth of a country. Tolerance between them and the skills to acquire knowledge are really valuable. We, historically, have been tolerant which is why we did not allow Bulgarian Jews to be deported. We have sympathized with Israel to build its state”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during his meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres. He emphasized the friendly ties between the two countries. “Our task is to continue and develop them”, the Prime Minister added. He also emphasized yesterday’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the intent to hold a joint meeting of the two governments. Mr. Oresharski highlighted the possibility for Bulgaria to use the experience of Israel in high technology, in which the country is a global leader. “We rely on the development of economic cooperation and investment”, the Prime Minister added Oresharsky , focusing also on cooperation in agriculture.
For a first time a prime minister receives the award, which so far has been given only to heads of state
“This is the place where every corner breathes history and different religions intersect. Your role is very important”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during his meeting with Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine Theophilos III before visiting the Holy Sepulchre. The Prime Minister was awarded the Patriarchal Order of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem. This is the first time a prime minister receives the honor - so far it has been given only to heads of state.
Israel is a potential source of investment, there are opportunities for cooperation in trade, agriculture, technology, and security, said the Prime Minister during the meeting with his Israeli counterpart, which lasted 40 minutes longer than planned
“We support the initiative of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman for a regional crisis response group”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu . The conversation continued 40 minutes longer than expected, on the initiative of Mr. Netanyahu. Prime Minister Oresharski congratulated his colleague on the way he leads the economy. He noted that despite the crisis , Bulgaria has managed to maintain fiscal stability, which has allowed her to be in a better position compared to other countries in Europe.
“Intensified political and economic dialogue in recent years testifies to the priority Bulgaria attaches to relations with Israel and the common will to strengthen bilateral ties”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said. He opened a Bulgarian-Israeli business forum in Tel Aviv. The Prime Minister said that he hoped the meeting would lead to specific results, projects and business partnerships between the two countries.
Thanks for everything you do for gymnastics. This is a tough sport and support from the state is needed, European Gymnastics Federation President Georges Gelzek said at a meeting with the Prime Minister
“We try to provide as much support as we possibly can, not just for gymnastics. It is important for the country to build modern sports facilities and bring young people back in sports halls, further develop mass sport . This would lead to sports excellence”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during his meeting in the Council of Ministers with European Gymnastics Federation President Georges Gelzek . The Prime Minister noted that last year, when the government had collected proposals from mayors about investment in cities, one of the most common requests had been for the rehabilitation or construction of new sports halls.
A new Investment Law, as simplified as possible and regulating the privileges that can be granted, is needed, the Prime Minister says
During a meeting with mayors and MPs in Varna, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski urged municipalities to provide information about appropriate places for investment on their territory. According to the Prime Minister, it was a good idea to have this type of information together in one place at the Investment Agency. He said that this might be useful to municipalities and possibly speed up the Agency’s work. Deputy Prime Minister Daniela Bobeva pointed out that the information was important for boosting the economy.
Crime rate is down nearly 12% as a result gendarmerie raids, Deputy Prime Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev says
Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Development Daniela Bobeva told reporters after today's cabinet meeting that the Council of Ministers had held a debate on the draft Strategy for Development of Tourism and had taken a decision in principle to significantly increase funding for advertising. She noted that the project had been developed at the end of last year and was extensively discussed by various social and professional groups.
“The Cabinet considers the development of the capital market in Bulgaria and related structures and institutions a priority in its strategy and program”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said. He attended the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the stock exchange in Bulgaria . The Prime Minister said that there was a favorable environment for the development of the stock exchange in Bulgaria – good legislative basis, better structured institutional framework, attractive fiscal regime. “This gives me reason to note the first positive signals from the end of last year and this year as signs of economic recovery”, the Prime Minister said .
Over 100 Bulgarian companies have expressed interest in participating in the project’s construction
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and Westinghouse President and CEO Danny Roderick met today in the Council of Ministers. The two noted progress in talks on the possibility of building an AP1000 pressurized water reactor as unit 7 at Kozloduy NPP.
Bulgaria bids to host an agricenter of China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries
“Bulgaria and China have historically good and friendly contacts. Both sides can benefit from mutual cooperation and we are working in this direction”, Prime Minister Oresharski said during his meeting in the Council of Ministers with Ms. Sun Chunlan, Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in the city of Tianjin and permanent member of the Politburo of the CCP. Prime Minister Oresharski and Ms. Sun Chunlan agreed that there was great potential for cooperation between the two countries in areas such as infrastructure, industry, agriculture and tourism. Mr. Oresharski emphasized the importance of attracting Chinese companies to operate and invest in Bulgaria . “We strive to be a bridge for the Chinese industry in Europe”, the Prime Minister said. He announced Bulgaria’s hosting bid in conjunction with a project to build an agricenter of China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries.
László Andor: We praise the government's plan for administrative reforms and we wish success in its implementation
“I thank for Mr. László Andor’s personal contribution to the development of youth unemployment programs, as well as for his extremely positive position with respect to the opening of labor markets”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said after meeting with European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor. The two discussed issues related to structural unemployment, as well as Bulgaria’s pension reform, currently being updated and revised. “At this stage there are intensive discussions with social partners, so that we can have a clearer vision this fall”, the Prime Minister said. Mr. Oresharski and Mr. Andor also discussed issues related to refugee and Roma integration.
We strive to actively support export and we look towards new markets, the Prime Minister said
“We strive to make the State a predictable participant and a loyal payer”, Prime Minister Oresharski said during a meeting with business representatives from Lovech . The Prime Minister noted that nowadays obligations of the State to the business were significantly smaller. “We paid everything that we owed as VAT. We are currently following this line as well”, Mr. Oresharski said. He drew attention to the Cabinet’s work towards easing administrative burdens. “For me the issue is not campaign-driven, but rather permanent “, the Prime Minister stressed, adding that the lives of citizens and businesses should not be complicated unnecessarily.
Global credit rating agency Fitch gave an extremely positive assessment of the steps taken by this government in the energy sector. If we had followed the previous business plan, this year the National Electric Company should have had a deficit of nearly BGN 500 million, Minister Dragomir Stoynev said.
“South Stream is a project we are working on, and we made up for the delay that we found in the middle of last year”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said at a briefing after the meeting of the government meeting in Lovech. “We have done everything that depended on us and we are continuing negotiating good conditions for the Bulgarian side, and definitely not like the ones we found when we took office”, the Prime Minister said. According to him, the opposition had the interesting approach to submit motions of no confidence regarding successful policies . “Energy is actually a sector with many risks. This is the result of the last few years - there are quite unbalanced decisions. Currently, positive trends are there, although we are still far having a balanced system . One of the key measures In our program is to rebalance the entire system”, Prime Minister Oresharski said.
The 2014-2015 university enrollment plan complies with the requirements of the business, Minister of Education and Science Aneliya Klisarova said
“Following today's Cabinet meeting, Lovech will acquired two properties” , Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said regarding the decisions, adopted by the Council of Ministers. The Government provides Lovech Municiplaity with free land for the development of the Devetashka cave region. With another decision Troyan Municipality also becomes owner of a property, which the municipality plans to turn into an industrial zone. The Prime Minister added that the government was working to grant another property, no longer needed by the army. Mr. Oresharski pointed out that today's Cabinet meeting in Lovech was part of the plan of the government for a series of meetings in regional centers in the country.
The most important element of Bulgarian State Railway’s recovery is renegotiation of obligations. The government has allocated 30 million for the purchase of new passenger cars this year, Minister Daniel Papazov said
“May there never be wars and may current conflicts be resolved through diplomatic and political, rather than confrontational, means. Today is a good day to make such wishes. The past has provided enough good examples of huge human tragedies where an understanding was not reached following the usual method”, Prime Minister Oresharski said at the beginning of his meeting with representatives of civil and non-government organizations in the Council of Ministers.
I am convinced that in two weeks the vast majority of European citizens will choose Europe of solidarity and shared responsibility, rather than Europe of division and mutual suspicion, said the Prime Minister
“Ten years ago, Europe took the biggest step towards its unity by integrating ten new countries. The area of shared democratic values expanded , stability was enhanced, preconditions for growth of prosperity of another 75 million people on the continent were created. Old member states were given further impetus for accelerated development”, Prime Minister Oresharski said. He took part in the celebration of Europe Day and the 10th anniversary of the 2004 EU enlargement.
“Examples like today’s deserve respect and make me feel proud to be Bulgarian” Prime Minister Oresharski said during the “Worthy Bulgarians” award ceremony . “It seems that in today's commercial and to some extent selfish world, acts of kindness and compassion are becoming increasingly scarce . Moreover, it seems that we love to talk about the bad examples, rather than the good ones”, the Prime Minister said. He quoted the words of Guy de Maupassant - “life is never as good or as bad as one thinks” . “People who were nominated show how, despite the difficulties, we can all be better people. This is a condition for our society to be more united, something that we aspire to but is always so elusive”, the Prime Minister said.
In coming years we will think more seriously about allocating funds for rearmament, the Prime Minister says
“The situation in Ukraine has been tense right from the beginning. It is true that there has been an escalation in recent weeks. We have not changed our position, urging both parties involved to refrain from provocations ; authorities in Ukraine particularly to lead an integration policy and rely on diplomatic and political means to resolve this conflict”, Prime Minister Oresharski said at briefing in the National Assembly . Asked whether there was a threat to gas and fuel supply to Bulgaria, the Prime Minister said that he hoped the threat was hypothetical, although there were various comments about the risks associated with gas transmission. “At present we have no reason to anticipate gas supply cuts. Of course, there is always a risk in a situation like this”, Mr. Oresharski added.
The State has allocated BGN 200,000 for the restoration of the monastery’s southern wing and will provide support for a restoration project of the Bansko wing
“It is an honor to be here in this holy monastery on a great holiday like today’s”, said Prime Minister Oresharski, who visited the St. George the Zograf Monastery on Mount Athos on St. George’s Day - the monastery’s Patron Saint. Early in the morning the Prime Minister attended the liturgy, then churchwarden Father Vissarion told him the story of the six icons, located in the two churches of the monastery.
We are working on a new investment law, the Prime Minister told business representatives in Burgas
“Our economic goal was to stimulate development. Without restoring economic growth, we cannot solve other problems”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during a meeting with business representatives in Burgas. He pointed out that the government's desire to dramatically improve the business environment was accompanied by specific measures, such as payment of old debts , VAT recovery, reducing administrative burdens on business and citizens, a change in the law , fight against corruption.
The Cabinet decided to allocate funds to repair the church in Burgas. Mayor of Burgas Dimitar Nikolov thanked the government for the good and useful decisions taken today and highlighted the partnership with the central government in solving local problems
The direct air service between Sofia and Zagreb, expected to begin operating this year, would be a step towards even better contacts between people, Prime Minister Oresharski said
Trade and economic relations between Bulgaria and Croatia were among the highlights Prime Minister Oresharski ‘s conversation with his Croatian counterpart Zoran Milanovic during an official visit to Zagreb. “The state of bilateral political and cultural relations is much more advanced than economic ones. From this perspective, we both agreed that it is worth to focus efforts on improving economic and trade contacts, contacts between companies in the two countries in the interest of economic growth and prosperity of our two countries “, the Prime Minister said . He noted that the direct air service between Sofia and Zagreb, expected to begin operating this year would be a step towards even better contacts between people.
Bulgarian companies have an opportunity to agree their participation in the implementation of joint projects and productions, said the Prime Minister
“For us, Croatia is a friendly, neighboring country and one of the important trade and economic partners in the region”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during the opening of the Bulgarian-Croatian business forum in Zagreb. According to the Prime Minister Croatia's EU membership creates new opportunities and favorable conditions for trade and economic cooperation between companies in both countries and the implementation of joint business ventures.
An income measure affecting the lowest income groups was introduced this year. The minimum was also increased, the Prime Minister said
“Efforts for wages are primarily efforts for efficiency and competitiveness. It is important to boost economic growth”, Prime Minister Oresharski said during the National Tripartite Conference “Remuneration in Bulgaria”, organized by CITUB
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski met today in the Council of Ministers with Jean-Claude Juncker, European People's Party’s candidate for European Commission President. Mr. Oresharski used the occasion to thank Mr. Juncker for his active role in the process of Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union. Mr. Oresharski familiarized his guest with the economic situation in the country and the government’s work to boost economic activity and investment, as well as with the risks associated with the crisis Ukraine. Both agreed that the Association Agreement with Moldova should be accelerated.
“Over the past nearly one year we did a lot of work – we laid the foundations for recovery of the institutional beginning in governing the country. We improved conditions for doing business. We harnessed the aggressive price behavior of some natural monopolies. We began paying attention to socially vulnerable groups, after they had been neglected for four years”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during the opening of Bulgarian Socialist Party’s European elections campaign. “We eliminated the police - power pressure on businesses and citizens. Even in conditions of initiated and stimulated protests, we maintained the balance between preservation of public order and protection of citizens' rights”, the Prime Minister added. He noted that in many sectors changes were not profound and gave the example of energy, health, administrative services, competition protection. “All these objectives remain among the priorities of the Cabinet”, the Prime Minister said.
We insist on consistency in measures to reduce administrative burdens, create more favorable conditions for doing business in Bulgaria and encourage investment, the Prime Minister said during the General Assembly of the Bulgarian Industrial Association
“Over the years the Bulgarian Industrial Association has established itself as a reliable partner of the State and also as a “corrective” to national policies, taking an active part in socio-economic dialogue. I believe that open discussion of issues, based on best expertise, creates workable solutions and contributes to a broad consensus on the priorities of the country”, Prime Minister Oresharski said during the 14th General Assembly of the Bulgarian Industrial Association, taking place today at the Sheraton. The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for the professionalism and responsible attitude of the Association to the overall socio-economic development of Bulgaria.
USD 1.5 billion is invested in the first phase of construction of a new hydrocracker unit at Lukoil Neftochim Oil Refinery in Burgas. Many of the activities are carried out by Bulgarian subcontractor companies
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski defined the hydrocracker unit at Lukoil Neftochim Refinery as a good investment. The construction project was the main topic of conversation between the Prime Minister and President of OAO Lukoil Vagit Alekperov at the Council of Ministers. Prime Minister Oresharski welcomed the Lukoil’s expansion in Bulgaria. The total investment in the first stage of the project - construction of basic installation for hydrocracking of vacuum residue, and auxiliary installations - totals USD 1.5 billion and construction is scheduled to be completed within 36 months.
It is important to follow the fundamental covenant of the Constitution - to protect and strengthen the statehood, the rule of law and freedom, the Prime Minister said during the celebration of the 135th anniversary of the adoption of the Tarnovo Constitution
“Day like today, when we all turn eyes to Bulgaria’s deepest values and achievements, makes me hope that in the future we will be able to look in the same direction - towards a better future for our country”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during the solemn session of the National Assembly on the occasion of the 135 anniversary of the Tarnovo Constitution.
Our goal is by the end of this year or early next year to take specific actions on the construction of the interconnector with Greece, which, unfortunately, had been delayed over the years, Minister of Economy and Energy Dragomir Stoynev said
Prospects for diversification in the energy sector, implementation of projects of common interest and potential areas for investment were among the topics discussed during the meeting between Prime Minister Oresharski and Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan Natig Aliyev. Discussed was also the realization of the Southern Gas Corridor.
“I am glad that we can host this great event “,Prime Minister Oresharski said after his meeting with the President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Wu Ching-kuo. The Prime Minister spoke with Mr. Ching-kuo Wu in the Council of Ministers before the start of the Youth World Boxing Championships, which will be held between 14 and 24 April 2014 in Sofia. “We look at hosting this event as an advertisement for our country. Each sport event builds [Bulgaria’s] reputation in the direction of larger projects”, the Prime Minister said. He stressed that boxing was a very popular sport in Bulgaria and noted that the country used to have champions, has good boxers currently and hopefully would have good boxers in the future as well. ”I wish success to the event”, Prime Minister Oresharski said.
Justice Minister Zinaida Zlatanova has issued 520 orders for the inspection of private and public enforcement agents
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski announced that the government was preparing a bill for individual bankruptcy. At the traditional meeting with representatives of civil society organizations, he stated that the purpose of the law was to ensure clearing of debts, so as not to turn people into debtors for life.The Prime Minister commented on the problem with private judicial enforcement, raised by civil organizations. Deputy Justice Minister Sabrie Sapundjieva stressed that registered were serious violations of the rights of private enforcement agents to prepare an assessment of the property of debtors, in the case of late appeals against their decisions, in the fragmentation of the cession, which burdens debtors with a lot of fees.
The rule of law must apply to both local and foreign companies, the Prime Minister told representatives of civil society organizations
“The criteria for appointment of executives in the energy sector are their professional qualities. We cannot always agree what professionalism is, but it is clear that there are no bakers or environmentalists, as during the previous term”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during the traditional meeting with representatives of civil society organizations. Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Zinaida Zlatanova and Deputy Minister of Justice Sabrie Sapundjieva also took part in the meeting . The main topics that were discussed included private enforcement, the state of the justice system, and the energy sector.
It is necessary to improve Bulgaria’s defense spending, the Prime Minister said during his conversation with the Secretary General of NATO
“We are making efforts to contribute to NATO operations. We are ready to do so in the future as well”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during his meeting with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister thanked Mr. Rasmussen for his efforts, the good attitude towards Bulgaria and the support. He pointed out that if before the country saw its membership in the Alliance in the context of Euro-Atlantic relations, in recent years it is evaluated in times of crisis. Mr. Oresharski and Mr. Rasmussen agreed that stability was not a given and required efforts.
“Bulgaria and Vietnam have excellent relationships and perspectives. We know Vietnam not only as a country that has long fought for independence, but also as a country which develops economically and has an ancient culture”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during his meeting with the President of the People's Committee in Hue, Thua Thien Hue province.
We want to continue and intensify cooperation and contacts between governments, businesses and the people of the two countries, the Prime Minister says
On the third day of his visit to Vietnam, Prime Minister Oresharski opened the International Conference themed European Basic Principles and Practices for the Collection, Storage and Recycling of Used Oil, in Hanoi. Vietnamese consortium Petro Vietnam and PRISTA Recycling signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the recycling of lubricants.
The visit of the Bulgarian Prime Minister in Vietnam will intensify economic cooperation between the two countries, Vietnam’s president Truong Tan Sang believes
Intensification of economic and legislative cooperation was the focus of talks between Prime Minister Oresharski and Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Nguyen Sinh Hung. “We welcome Vietnamese investments initiatives. The overall objective is to work for the welfare of both countries”, Prime Minister Oresharski said.
The Prime Minister of Vietnam said that the visit of Mr. Oresharski was an important motivation for bilateral cooperation in various areas and emphasized Vietnam’s readiness to support Bulgaria in strengthening ties with countries of the region.
During the plenary meeting of the Bulgarian and Vietnamese delegations in Hanoi, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski presented a brief summary with 12 projects that could be developed jointly by the two countries. Prime Minister Oresharski told Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung that opportunities before the two countries did not end with these projects. Mr. Oresharsky invited his Vietnamese counterpart to visit Bulgaria and become familiar with conditions for doing business and the opportunity Bulgaria to be Vietnam’s bridge to Europe. He noted that the tourism sector had great potential and Bulgaria could assist Vietnam in developing travel agency business.
“I am particularly excited and proud to welcome you here, on Bulgarian territory, to meet you – Bulgaria’s graduates in Vietnam”, Prime Minister Oresharski told citizens of Vietnam, who had studied and worked in Bulgaria, which he met with at the Bulgarian embassy in Hanoi. The Prime Minister said that on the eve of the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, it could be noted that relations between Bulgaria and Vietnam have always been particularly close and friendly. “In this region of the world Vietnam is Bulgaria’s friendliest country. I believe that the citizens of Vietnam refer to Bulgaria the same way”, the Prime Minister said. “We in Bulgaria, we have always strived to contribute to Vietnam’s progress. We are trying to do so now, and I sincerely admire Vetnam’s achievements in recent years”, Mr. Oresharski added .
Today Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski had a working meeting Yuri Isakov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Bulgaria. The two discussed the meeting of the joint Bulgarian-Russian Commission in June. The exact dates will be specified further, according to the commitments of participants in the intergovernmental commission.
“Over the past decade Bulgaria has come a significant way, establishing itself as a predictable and reliable Euro-Atlantic partner”, Prime Minister Oresharski said during the celebration on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Bulgaria's NATO membership.“Our membership in NATO is one of the best examples of the country’s policy continuity and consistency when it comes to national priorities”, the Prime Minister said. According to him, execution of alliance commitments is an essential element of Bulgaria’s defense policy.
“All of our actions are aimed at greater transparency”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during a briefing in parliament. The Prime Minister stressed that cabinet’s efforts to reduce administrative burdens could be also read as anti-corruption measures. “When citizens and businesses do not depend on “administrative permissions” to such an extend - this is a prerequisite for purer public relations”, Mr. Oresharski said. He added that by the end of the year over 100 administrative regimes would be eased or repealed. “This has not been done by any Bulgarian government in the last 24 years”, the Prime Minister said.
“We are hoping for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during his meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. The Prime Minister expressed hope that it would not come down to the third package sanctions on Russia, highlighting the negative effect this would have on some EU Member States, including Bulgaria. Other highlights of the meeting of Prime Minister Oresharski and the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State were energy diversification and security investments. The Prime Minister stressed the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor. He pointed out the work on the construction of interconnectors. The Prime Minister put forward the visa issue, noting that the country relied on more favorable attitude on the issue.
Prime Minister Oresharski and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova discussed Cooperation between Bulgaria and UNESCO. During the meeting in the Council of Ministers Prime Minister Oresharski and Ms. Bokova spoke about the development of culture in the country. Minister of Culture Minister Peter Stoyanovic also attended the meeting.
During his meeting with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Prime Minister focused on the cabinet’s aspiration to lead a more active social policy
“Bulgarian Jews are integrated into Bulgarian society. In difficult times our nation has demonstrated that the Jewish community is part of it”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during his meeting with representatives of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). The Prime Minister emphasized the very good relations between Bulgaria and Israel.
We strive to create better conditions for all investors, the Prime Minister said during his meeting with the Israeli Foreign Minister
We have always had excellent relations with Israel. In economic terms, there are many reserves, which may contribute to the development of these relations”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during his meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Mr. Lieberman said that political relations between the two countries were excellent and agreed that the economic sphere was the one area that could develop in the future.
“Public media are extremely important for attitudes in society”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during his meeting with Vice President of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Claudio Capone and EBU Head of Member Relations David Lewis. Prime Minister Oresharski discussed with Mr. Capone and Mr. Lewis current challenges before public media. BNT Director General Viara Ankova and BNR Director General Radoslav Yankulov also took part in the meeting.
“BGN 15 million is allocated for activities of Irrigation Systems Company to counter the harmful effects of water. The Prime Minister tasked the Finance Minister and I to prepare, within a month, a report on the state of the company and its development in the future”, Minister Dimitar Grekov said
“Today, the government officially adopted Bulgaria’s Partnership Agreement as a basis for negotiations with the European Commission”, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Zinaida Zlatanova said at a news conference after the meeting of the Council of Ministers. Zlatanova reminded that the deadline for Member States to submit the agreements was April 22. The Deputy Prime Minister emphasized openness and transparency, which were mandatory in relations with the European Commission and partners in the country.
The electronization will counteract administrative delays and other negative trends, the Prime Minister says
“Austria is a traditional economic partner of Bulgaria”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said at a briefing after taking part in the meeting of the Austrian Business Circle. The Prime Minister stressed the importance of Austrian investments in the country. During the meeting, the Prime Minister briefed representatives of the Austrian business community on major policies of the government. “There were diverse questions on taxation, fiscal stability in the context of the need for economic growth, tourism, healthcare, education “, the Prime Minister said. He emphasized Austria’s good practices in terms of the dual system of education and vocational training. The Prime Minister talked about the Cabinet’s work on the e-government. According to him, the electronization would counteract administrative delays and other negative trends.
We will defend Bulgaria’s position within the European Council. I am optimistic that we will move towards de-escalation of tensions, the Prime Minister said regarding the crisis in Ukraine
The pursuit to promote economic relations between Bulgaria and all trade or business partners of the country was among the highlights of the meeting of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski with business representatives - members of the Bulgarian-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Prime Minister said this was in the interests of Bulgarian citizens.
After her meeting with the Prime Minister, EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström highlighted the important progress made on refugee issues
“As a country we were not prepared enough for the refugee wave. We [have made progress], but we still have much work to do to meet the standards that refugees and Bulgarian citizens expect”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said at a briefing following his meeting with European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström.The Prime Minister stressed that he had briefed the Commissioner on efforts made since the middle of last year to curb the refugee wave, as well as difficulties in the beginning – the poor conditions in refugee centers, and issues with the capacity of the Agency for Refugees. “Today the conditions in refugee centers are significantly better than in the beginning. We made progress on the administrative capacity of the Agency for Refugees, as well as on expediting status granting procedures”, said the Prime Minister.
“We discussed all risks, mainly economic ones, but I think that at this stage large-scale sanctions are unlikely. I remain confident that it will not come to such”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said after today’s Constitutional Council on National Security. The Prime Minister noted that discussions had been constructive and added: “There is nothing that much new in the position. We have practically had the same so far”.
Bulgaria has provided the Commission with an estimate of the possible effects of the imposition of economic sanctions against Russia
“The political part of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine was signed this morning”, Prime Minister Oresharski said at a briefing in Brussels after the meeting of the European Council. The Prime Minister noted that Member States had expressed strong support for Ukraine, including support to stabilize the macro-economic and financial situation in the country in the short term. The Prime Minister talked about the program with the IMF which was currently being developed. He noted that the EU remained committed to the territorial integrity of Ukraine and would continue its efforts to resolve the crisis through diplomatic means. “The EU has agreed to expand the list of persons against which targeted measures banning travel and freezing assets would be imposed. The EU - Russia summit is canceled and it is recommended that Member States refrain from high-level meetings with Russia”, Prime Minister Oresharski said.
In no case will the law be bypassed, the Prime Minister said about Karadere
“It is possible to discuss economic sanctions, but it is unlikely to reach [such] decision. Overall, this is not the best tool. Everything should be viewed through the prism of impact assessment”, Prime Minister Oresharski said in response to a question about possible economic sanctions against Russia before the meeting of the European Council in Brussels. “I must stress that we would not support large-scale economic sanctions Fbefore an impact assessment is carried out, as our estimates indicate that we will be among the most affected countries”, said the Prime Minister . According to him compensatory mechanisms should be discussed if an agreement was reached to impose sanctions.
We will hold government meetings in the six regions of the country, the Prime Minister says
“We will hold government meetings on planning and development in the six regions “, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said at a press conference in Vidin. “This is a good opportunity all ministers to hold meetings in respective districts, to meet with the mayors and business representatives”, the Prime Minister said. According to him the meetings could be beneficial for obtaining information about specific regional issues and discussing the cabinet’s program with focus on the particular region. “I want to stress that during this financial perspective, which I hope will begin soon with the approval of the Partnership Agreement , we will have the first specialized regional horizontal program so that the effect of programs, under which we will receive European funds, could be multiplied in different directions”, the Prime Minister said. He stressed that the most important thing was to promote economic activity and generate employment.
“We decided to kick start our initiative to hold government meetings in different regions of the country in Vidin mainly to send a message to the Northwest region” , Prime Minister Oresharski said at the start of his meeting with business representatives from Vidin District. “The Northwest region holds a special place in our efforts to mitigate the enormous regional disparities that have deepened in recent years”, the Prime Minister added. He stressed the importance of promoting economic activity. “This is the key to solving all other issues that have accumulated over the years”, the Prime Minister said. He noted that at the work meeting with mayors of Vidin District an emphasis was placed on the issue of employment. “When employment decreases, economic activity is at its lowest level. What is the point then to speak of local revenue and public works?”, the Prime Minister asked rhetorically. He pointed out that the state could provide targeted assistance to one region or another, but the turning point could come if private investment is encouraged and employment is generated.
Thanks to support from operational programs and the government, our cities are becoming more advanced and developed, said Mayor of Burgas Dimitar Nikolov. Without the government, local authorities cannot achieve all that we have as ideas for the development of our communities, said Mayor of Veliko Tarnovo Daniel Panov.
“Competition and noble emulation are an essential condition for progress in every human activity, including urban planning”, said Prime Minister Oresharski , who awarded the prize “Best City to Live in Bulgaria”. He congratulated all mayors who attended the ceremony, organized for a seventh consecutive year by 24 Chasa newspaper and Darik Radio . “I am convinced that mayors who are absent possess sufficient qualities. I want to also congratulate the citizens of cities that have been nominated so far”, the Prime Minister said.
A working group will propose measures to prevent cases like the one in Lyaskovets, the Prime Minister says
“To me, such kind of coordination of the positions of the Cabinet and supporting parliamentary groups is a precondition for better performance of the executive branch”, Prime Minister Oresharski said at a press conference after the seminar of BSP and Coalition for Bulgaria together with the government in Borovets. Discussed were specific policies by sector - state, economy , social and regional policy. The Prime Minister noted that there were no issues on which the parliamentary group had voiced a negative opinion. “This is logical because we are following a program approved by the BSP “, the Prime Minister said.
Current and forthcoming tasks of the cabinet were the highlights of the speech of Prime Minister Oresharski at the seminar of BSP and the Parliamentary Group of Coalition for Bulgaria in Borovets. The Prime Minister emphasized the complex environment the cabinet was working in. “The created political instability continues to weaken the confidence of business and households. Business was released from fear, but the likelihood - real or hypothetical – [the previous majority to return to power] makes the majority of economically active persons refrain from investments or large-scale business developments”, Mr. Oresharski said. According to him, this also applied to foreign investors. “Weak domestic demand also suggest insufficient consumer confidence - another economic growth factor”, the Prime Minister added.
If necessary, the National Social Security Institute could change the pension distribution schedule, so that people could receive the allowances before Easter, the Minister of Labor and Social Policy said
“All Bulgarian pensioners will receive an additional one off assistance”, Minister of Labor and Social Policy Hasan Ademov announced at a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Ministers. The Minister explained that 327,000 pensioners who receive pensions of up to BGN 150 would receive a one-off assistance of BGN 40. People with pensions ranging from BGN 150 to BGN 251, or 738 000 people, would receive a one-off allowance of BGN 30. 1,120,000 pensioners receiving pensions of over BGN 251 would get a one-off assistance of BGN 20. A total of BGN 57.7 million is needed for Easter allowances. The money is provided at the expense of restructuring central budget costs for 2014.
The Partnership Agreement will be officially submitted to the European Commission by the end of March
“During the 2014 - 2020 programming period, Bulgaria will have EU funding of about EUR 15 billion”, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Zinaida Zlatanova said at a press conference after a meeting of the government. Deputy Prime Minister Zlatanova presented to media the allocation of funds under operational programs. “While funds under the Program for Rural Development and the Program for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries are determined to a large extent in accordance with regulations, specific to these fund , a serious analysis had to be carried out and agreement reached on the size and direction of investments, allocated to operational programs for resources from the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund, which will finance a total of seven operational programs”, Zlatanova said.
Employers have announced 3,600 more job positions for the first two months of the year. Program Security will provide employment to 5,000 unemployed people, Prime Minister Oresharski says
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski described the National Meeting with the Media – Open Government as a step to promote the cabinet’s open style of governance. Nearly three hours the Prime Minister and the two leaders of the political parties supporting the government – BSP Chairman and PES President Sergey Stanishev and MRF Chairman Lutfi Mestan answered journalists’ questions.
We will try to provide allowances for Easter , the Prime Minister says
“The unemployment problem will be solved by economic recovery. The real solution is economic growth”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said on TV7 . The Prime Minister emphasized the problem of youth unemployment, which was relevant in all of Europe. According to him, it was important to seek the necessary tools to tackle the issue. “One of them is the program that we will introduce this year - First Job. It will cover a wide number of graduates which would be eligible to subsidized employment for a certain period of time if they do not find employment for the first four months after graduating. It will be up to them to perform well and gain experience that will give them a better chance at professional level. We rely on this program. We hope to reverse the trend. It will be subsidized by EU funds”, the Prime Minister said.
Together, we have better chance to realize our common goals, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said after the meeting of the governments of Bulgaria and Romania
The joint meeting of the governments of Bulgaria and Bulgaria was brought to a close with the signing of seven documents on cooperation and the validation of a postage stamp, dedicated to the 135th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Participants in the meeting reviewed the results of meetings between line ministers hours before.
Bulgaria and Romania expressed support for Serbia's EU membership
“I am very happy to host this trilateral meeting” , Prime Minister Oresharski said after talks with Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic . “We had the opportunity to discuss a number of issues of mutual interest”, the Prime Minister said. He emphasized support for Serbia regarding successful negotiations and the forthcoming EU membership. “Both Bulgaria and Romania are interested in all Western Balkans countries , especially Serbia, to become EU members more quickly, so that we can deepen our cooperation, even through instruments of the European Commission “, Prime Minister Oresharski said. He drew attention to the opportunities the Danube Strategy provided for joint projects with a view to accelerate development.
No sanctions of any kind would have a positive impact on Bulgaria or any EU Member State, the Prime Minister says
“I believe that the dialogue would lead to relatively quick solutions to regulate at least the main open questions at this stage”, Prime Minister Oresharski said after today's extraordinary meeting of the European Council in Brussels. The Prime Minister described the joint statement of European states and government leaders as positive. “The statement outlines [the need] for a dialogue, the leading parties in which should be Kiev and Moscow. The EU should be involved in various ways to stimulate this process, but not get directly involved”, the Prime Minister said. He added that the EU had expressed readiness to participate in efforts to de-escalate tensions. “The belief is that the solution should be reached through talks between Russia and Ukraine”, Mr. Oresharski said. According to him, it would be good if talks began at the next European Council.
“It is important that the European Council reaches a unified position”, Prime Minister Oresharski said ahead of the meeting of state and government leaders in Brussels. The Prime Minister said that he expected there to be a declaration supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as steps towards the de-escalation of tensions. “I am optimistic”, Prime Minister Oresharski said.
“The focus of the government’s program is on economic recovery and promotion of entrepreneurship . A strong emphasis in the program is placed on small and medium business - both in terms of the business environment and targeted measures to encourage business”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said at the Golden Martenitsa Ceremony, held in the National Palace of Culture . Prime Minister Oresharski assessed positively the idea to carry out a public awareness, rather than a PR, campaign under the motto “Choose Bulgarian” and recommended that all Bulgarian citizens chose Bulgarian products.
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and President Rosen Plevneliev had a meeting in the Presidency at the initiative of Mr. Oresharski. The two discussed issues related to the situation in Ukraine ahead of the upcoming extraordinary meeting of the European Council in Brussels tomorrow. “We support the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine and expect the new government, together with the international community, to create conditions necessary for the de-escalation of tension and lasting stabilization of the country and democratic elections”, the Prime Minister said. Bulgaria will adhere to the common European position, expected at the European Council meeting in Brussels tomorrow.
Economic development is the best way to combat poverty, the Prime Minister says
“Poverty is a problem in our country and I probably will not be wrong if I say that measures are never enough. I would like to note that, unlike the previous four years, [we] took measures. However small they may be they are still a step in the right direction”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said at a briefing in Parliament. According to him, the most effective way to combat poverty was by seeking to promote investment and economic recovery. “Economic growth and increased employment are the best way to combat poverty. In terms of employment - there is still a lot of time in office for the measures we took last year to take effect – [measures ] such as improving the business climate especially and stimulating economic growth”, the Prime Minister said. According to him this would result in higher employment.
The Security Council with the Council of Minister adopted seven measures in relation to the crisis in Ukraine. The Council was convened by Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski on the situation in Ukraine. The following measures were adopted:
1. Establishing a National Headquarters to monitor the situation in Ukraine and take measures to control and minimize the risks to the security of the country.
2. Assessment of the country's reserves of natural gas and petroleum products, and opportunities to respond to short-term or medium-term supply disruptions from Ukraine or lasting difficulties in the work of Lukoil Neftochim - Burgas.
3. Developing a national plan to respond to a refugee wave from Ukraine.
4. Reviewing and updating Bulgaria’s plans and response measures in the event of an accident or radiological contamination on the territory of Ukraine, which could affect Bulgaria.
5. Strengthening of border and customs control on people, goods or cargo from or to Ukraine regarding the trafficking of arms or goods with possible dual use.
6. Conducting a balanced foreign policy in relation to the conflict in Ukraine.
7. Reviewing plans for the transfer of fresh and spent nuclear fuel from Kozloduy NPP. Development of alternatives.
It is important to remember and to be proud of our past. But even more important is to strive to be worthy successors in the present, the Prime Minister said at Shipka summit
“In order for Bulgaria to be, we need to work tirelessly for its development. This is our common cause. In order to achieve it, let’s be united at least in our patriotism”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said at Shipka summit on March 3, Bulgaria’s National Day. "To be on this glorious summit on March 3 and pay respect to the heroes of our Liberation is our duty and honor. Deep appreciation and gratitude for their courage and heroism. It is important to remember and be proud of our past. But even more important is to strive to be worthy successors in the present. Because freedom is not given once and for all. It needs to be earned every day”, Prime Minister Oresharski said.
The success of Martin Schulz will be success for all of Europe, the Prime Minister said at the congress of the Party of European Socialists (PES) in Rome
“We need policies for economic growth and employment. We need more integration and solidarity. These are the principles and policies of the agenda of the European Left and I believe that they can be realized”, Prime Minister Oresharski said at the Congress of PES in Rome. The Prime Minister pointed out that change was needed and that none of the current problems would be solved with the policy of conservative parties. “No less important is who will implement the new policies. In this context, Martin Schulz is our strong candidate. I wish success to Martin Schulz and all of you. Success will be for all of Europe”, the Prime Minister told European socialists.
In a letter to His Excellency Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister Oresharski expresses his heartfelt congratulations on his election as Prime Minister of the Italian Republic.
I am convinced that the dynamic political dialogue, friendship and historical relations between our two nations will be fruitful basis for further successful development and deepening of our cooperation in all areas and within a united and prosperous Europe”, Mr. Oresharski writes in the letter.
We look at relations between Bulgaria and Turkey in perspective as a strategic partnership, said Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu
“Bulgaria and Turkey have the potential for further cooperation. Turkey is a large economy, a large market and a source of investment”, said Prime Minister Oresharski during his meeting with Foreign Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu. The Prime Minister emphasized the good relations between the two countries and the enormous economic opportunities. Prime Minister Oresharski and Foreign Minister Davutoglu discussed the possibility trade between Bulgaria and Turkey to increase twice. The two also noted the step taken to solve the issue with carriers. The Turkish Foreign Minister expressed hope that a permanent solution would be found. “Each vehicle that crosses the border creates economic revival”, Mr. Davutoglu said.
Germany is our key trade, and within the EU, strategic partner, the Prime Minister says
“We are preparing a new investment act - quite simple, in the context of our goal to reduce administrative burdens”, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski at the discussion forum, organized by the German- Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The Prime Minister presented the main policy directions of the government in the economic sphere, efforts to improve the business climate and attract investments. “Back when we formed the cabinet, we set very ambitious goals related to promoting economic development, creating conditions for the revival of economic activity and promoting entrepreneurship”, the Prime Minister said. He stressed that large investment projects would be supported by the administration.
No attention was paid to the investment needs of all municipalities in the previous four years. 86% of funds were allocated to GERB municipalities, the Minister of Finance points out
“No credit institution has aggregate net exposures that exceed 18% of the aggregate economy level at the end of last year”, Minister of Finance Peter Chobanov said at briefing after the meeting of the Council of Ministers. “The Ordinance , which regulates the relations of public companies with banks, has achieved the expected results”, Minister Chobanov said . As an example, he gave the first quarter of 2013 when a financial institution had concentrated almost 50 % of all resources of state-owned companies, while at the end of 2013, this bank had about 17%. The second and third banks had 16% and 10%, respectively. Chobanov stated that at the end of last year, over 85% of public companies had adopted, or were in the process of adopting, internal rules to comply with the regulation, noting an increase compared to November of the same year, when only 76% of companies had done this. According to the Finance Minister, in the energy sector net exposure to banks was negative. Nevertheless, the largest net exposure of 66%, observed for the first quarter of 2013, had decreased to 21% at the end of 2013 .
Bulgaria welcomes the agreement signed today in Kiev between President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders to end the political crisis.
We consider the agreement, which provides for an early presidential election, forming a coalition government and constitutional reform, as a necessary compromise, which opens the way to political dialogue in Ukraine. The implementation of the agreement is of particular importance and, in this sense, we assess the law adopted today by Verkhovna Rada to return to the Constitution of 2004 as a first step in this direction.
By order of the Prime Minister Oresharski , Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Tsvetlin Yovchev held a working meeting to discuss the situation in Ukraine. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Interior Svetozar Lazarov, Chairperson of State Agency for National Security (SANS) Vladimir Pisanchev and Directors of the National intelligence Service and the Military Information Office at the Ministry of Defense - Dragomir Dimitrov and Veselin Ivanov.
Deepening economic cooperation was the main focus of the meeting between the Bulgarian Prime Minister and the President and Prime Minister of Azerbaijan
“During the two meetings with the President and Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, we discussed matters of mutual interest relating to further economic development and business contacts between the two countries. We came to the general conclusion that good political contacts must continue to evolve with the deepening of economic cooperation”, Prime Minister Oresharski told reporters. He pointed out that the energy sector was one of the main topics discussed during his meetings with President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister Artur Rasizade earlier today.
President Aliyev invites Bulgarian businesses to execute infrastructure projects in Azerbaijan
“Azerbaijan’s interest in Bulgaria is enormous. Our country is a strategic partner. If so far we were talking about intentions only, now President Aliyev mentions specific projects and investments primarily in the energy sector, and more specifically gas investments”, Minister of Economy and Energy Dragomir Stoynev said after the meeting between the Bulgarian delegation, led by Prime Minister Oresharski, and the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Realization of social investment projects and environmental protection are among the highlights in two of the agreements to be signed in Azerbaijan
Opportunities to expand the participation of Bulgaria in projects in Azerbaijan and ways to enhance business contacts between the two countries were the main topics that Prime Minister Oresharski discussed with Bulgarians living and working in Baku. The Prime Minister met with them during an official visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan.
During the first day of his visit, the Prime Minister visited the Old Town and the National Flag Square. “I am impressed by the historical sights of Baku – a city with ancient culture. The atmosphere is wonderful and impresses with its authenticity. With great thanks and best wishes”, Prime Minister Oresharski wrote in the city’s guest book. Mr. Oresharski is expected to meet with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev , Prime Minister Artur Rasizade and Parliament Speaker Ogtay Asadov during the second day of the official visit.
Let our commitment to the ideas of Levski be the criteria for good-neighborly relations and our common European future, the Prime Minister said
“If Levski was among us now, I'm sure he would have given us a stern look and urged us to work even harder for the Fatherland, and ask us why have we not yet built his pure and holy republic and leave us his vision for Bulgaria as part of the community of free nations”, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski during the official unveiling of the monument of Vasil Levski in Dimitrovgrad, Serbia.“We are here today to once again pay tribute to the spirit of the Apostle of Freedom, to bow before his deeds, devoted not only the freedom of Bulgaria but also to the promotion of human values and timeless ideals such as equality, justice and humanity, to draw strength for our common European future, by being equal with other nations and seek respect and tolerance in relations and in ourselves”, the Prime Minister said. He noted that even after a century and a half, time failed to erase even a piece of the bright image of the Apostle. “[That is] maybe because truly time is in us and we are in time, as Levski had said”, the Prime Minister added. The Prime Minister said that he was convinced that the monument in Dimitrovgrad would symbolize the mutual understanding between the two brotherly nations, which over the years had been tested repeatedly.
The absence of MPs from the party of GERB at regional meetings with mayors is notable, says Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski in response to a letter by the Chairman of GERB.
“I will follow the already established practice to invite all mayors of the respective area , regardless of their political affiliation, to regional meetings with representatives of local authorities”, writes Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski in reply to the letter of GERB’s Chairman Boyko Borisov. “So far, these meetings have always been attended by the mayors of the particular area, including those of GERB, and I will continue to rely on constructive dialogue with them “, says the Prime Minister.
“Tourism is among the top priorities of the government, our diverse nature is an excellent opportunity for investment in resorts that are visited by a growing number of tourists”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during the official opening of Borovets European Ski Cup 2014.
We have tried to distribute the funds as evenly as possible, including to cities and towns which have not received budgetary funding for many years, says the Prime Minister
About BGN 350 million from the Public Investment Fund had been allocated to municipalities and the rest to national programs, or roads, said Prime Minister Oresharski during the traditional meeting with representatives of civil society organizations in the Council of Ministers. “We have tried to distribute the 350 million, which directly concern municipalities, as evenly as possible. In this regard, unlike other times, [we have tried to ensure that] there are funds for small towns, which have not received budgetary funding for many years”, the Prime Minister stressed. He emphasized the existence of very important sites in major cities, including in Sofia, Plovdiv, Burgas. The Prime Minister gave as an example of Varna, where there were three projects – the reconstruction of the sports hall, the building of a courthouse and beginning work on the Port of Varna. The Prime Minister pointed out that the majority of sites in municipalities were related to social infrastructure. “We have complied with several criteria, including access of relevant municipalities to European funding”, Prime Minister Oresharsk said regarding the allocation of funds.
We are still negotiating, I confirm that the state is interested in acquiring Remotex, says Minister of Economy and Energy Dragomir Stoynev
During his meeting with business representatives from Haskovo and the region, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski presented the cabinet’s achievements so far and intentions for the future. During the meeting, which lasted more than two hours, participants discussed macroeconomic parameters, new operational programs, infrastructure, and social security contributions. Minister of Economy and Energy Dragomir Stoynev and Minister of Defense Angel Naydenov also took part in the meeting. Asked by reporters about Remotex, Minister Stoynev said: “We are still negotiating. The valuation of the company will be ready between 6 and 10 March, if until then the state and local employers do not find common ground. I confirm the state is interested in acquiring this company”.
The fence along the border is being built and we have been assured that it will be ready by early spring, the Prime Minister says
“People should remain calm, they have not been forgotten. There is a central headquarters that periodically meets to discuss the situation in different centers. We are identifying measures to improve the living conditions, and to accelerate status procedures and the integration [of refugees]”, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski during his visit to refugee registration centers in Harmanly. “Over the next few days we will increase the number of interviewers and accelerate the overall procedure. There are currently 5 [interviewers], and we will increase them by at least 4 more”, Mr. Oresharski said. He noted that he had spoken with other European prime ministers and the situation was difficult everywhere in terms of increased refugee flow.
We are preparing better regulations for retail chains based on European best practices, Prime Minister Oresharski says
“Since the onset of this purely trade dispute , we have sought to protect the interests of our carriers and maintain good neighborly relations between the friendly countries Bulgaria and Turkey are. Negotiations are need to permanently settle the issue, so that it does not arise again next year”, Prime Minister Oresharski told reporters in Stara Zagora. The Prime Minister noted that Bulgaria was insisting to hasten the meeting at ministerial level which was why Bulgaria had proposed Turkey to choose the place of the meeting.
“I am extremely glad that today I can welcome 25th Contingent of the Armed Forces of Bulgaria, who successfully completed its mission within the operation of the International Forces to maintain peace and security in Afghanistan”, said Prime Minister Oresharski during a ceremony in Stara Zagora.
The political affiliation of mayors of various municipalities is not important to us, says the Prime Minister in response to a letter by the Chairman of GERB
“A main priority in the program of the government of the Republic of Bulgaria is to overcome the differences between regions in the country”, writes Prime Minister Oresharski in response to a letter by President of the Parliamentary Group of GERB Boyko Borisov . Prime Minister Oresharski stresses that the government is making great efforts to find funds for Bulgarian municipalities. “Such are planned under European Union funds and the state budget for 2014. One of the main tools in this direction is the public investment program Growth and Sustainable Development of Regions”, says the Prime Minister.
We will continue implementing policies, including improving the security systems, said Prime Minister Oresharski in the National Assembly after parliament voted against the motion of no confidence. “I want to assure both those who proposed the vote and those who supported it, that security systems are extremely important. Yes, we have our differences on their functionality, but I want to believe that the common goal of everyone in this room is to improve the security systems”, Mr. Oresharski added. According to him, most arguments of the opposition had been self-criticism. “There is a lot of potential to improve the system and this will be our task from now on”, Prime Minister Oresharski said.
The objective of our economic policy is to stimulate economic development through the introduction of innovation and reindustrialization, the Prime Minister said at the forum Government-Business: Restart the Economy
Prime Minister Oresharski said the government would continue to maintain low direct taxes - 10 % corporate and 10 % personal income tax , as well as a single VAT rate of 20 %. “Under conditions of strong competition the low level of direct taxation is in our advantage , which we cannot deprive ourselves of at least in the foreseeable horizon. [D]ifferentiated VAT rates are more negative than single [VAT rates]”, he said during the presentation of the economic policy of the cabinet at the forum Government - Business : Restart the economy.
"Remember the words of the leader of GERB that not the International Monetary Fund but the Ministry of Interior would deal with the crisis", said the Prime Minister in Parliament.
“After carefully reading the motives and listening to the debate, I am convinced that I was absolutely correct in my original assessment – the motion of no confidence submitted by GERB regarding the government's Security Sector policies is a self-criticism of their own governance”, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski in Parliament.
We did not hesitate even for a moment in our effort to reverse the policies towards restoring statehood, reviving the economy and mitigating social asymmetries, the Prime Minister said
The first results are encouraging. For the past period we demonstrated the path we will walk on – boosting economic activity and increasing economic responsibility, Prime Minister Oresharski said in his speech before delegates at the 48th Congress of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). “[Together] we need to lead all fellow countrymen on this road - both our sympathizers and supporters and those who do not support us , but who also want to live in a better country and are willing to work for it”, added the Prime Minister . He noted how important it was to resist both external provocations and overcome attempts for domestic strife and disunity. “The stakes are high - whether the country will continue on the path of stabilization and progress, or will again depart from it,” Mr. Oresharski said.
The strict control on illegal immigration will continue, says the Prime Minister
The organization was impeccable, and the atmosphere – impressive, Prime Minister Oresharski said on Bulgarian National Radio after returning from Sochi, where he atteneded the Winter Olympics Official Opening Ceremony. "Sochi is already quite unrecognizable”, the Prime Minister added and stressed the huge investments that had been made, especially in the infrastructure.
Plamen Oresharski and Dmitry Medvedev agreed to meet this year after the meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation
Prime Minister Oresharski met with Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi. The Prime Minister of Russia thanked Mr. Oresharski for attending the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics which showed respect not only to the Olympics, but also to Russia and international cooperation.
“Some time ago I asked an industrialist how to help the business and he replied briefly – ‘by not interfering’. I try to follow this advice as the first steps of the Cabinet, which we will be affirming this year, were focused in several directions - to alleviate the administrative burden as much as possible, pay business in a timely manner and facilitate access to credit”, Prime Minister Oresharski said after awarding the grand prize for Investor of the Year . "Everything else depends on you – on your enterprise, appetite for risk and innovativeness. I wish you much success this year, with joint efforts to reverse the economic trends and next year to be able to can say that indeed the government hinders business less and successes is tangible”, added the Prime Minister.
392 projects of local authorities and 13 of ministries will be financed under the first public investment program Growth and Sustainable Development of the Regions
We distributed BGN 499,345,000 under the public investment program Growth and Sustainable Development of the Regions for priority programs and projects of local authorities and ministries for public works in municipalities and provision of employment”, said Minister of Finance Peter Chobanov after the meeting of the government at which a decree approving the list of approved projects/programs, municipalities and ministries responsible for their implementation and the allocation of funds under the Public Investment Program was adopted. No regions had been left out, most of the country’s territory had been covered and the Program’s resource would be sufficient for all priority evaluated and ranked projects of municipalities, the Minister of Finance pointed out.
The new strategic review of the Armed Forces, which is currently underway, will provide the right answers and guidance, the Prime Minister says
“We brought some relief with the legislative changes and the changes to the Armed Forces Development Plan we made in the last couple of months. Now on the agenda is the renewal of armament and equipment, and the development of defense infrastructure, although the financial capacity does not allow this to happen fast”, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski at the conference of Chief of Defense General Simeon Simeonov, dedicated to the contribution of the armed forces of Bulgaria in the implementation of NATO’s Connected Forces Initiative. “Given the topic of the conference and the capacity of our country, I hope that pragmatism will be a leitmotif in the discussions. I would like to be realistic about the possibilities and find that balance between what is necessary and [available] resources, which will help us achieve maximum efficiency”, said the Prime Minister.
The stabilization of the economy will allow the implementation of social policies, the Prime Minister told Radio K2
“Organizing elections is a big challenge, especially after the last four years, when the public’s doubt about [the vote’s] fairness increased. Although [elections are] organized by the administration, the responsibility for them falls on the government and what matters to us is not only the outcome, but also that people are convinced that they have participated in fair elections”, said Prime Minister Oresharski on Radio K2. He pointed out that although the election code was not ready yet, there was a general understanding that the ballot papers would be printed only in printing houses with experience in the printing of securities and official forms, such as excise labels, tickets, forms with fiscal significance, etc. “We will pay great attention to the control over the process to fully ensure that the Kostinbrod incident does not occur again”, said the Prime Minister.
Only people who had not contributed to the collapse of the security system in the previous four years could criticize, the Prime Minister said.
“I think that Kristalina Georgieva is doing her job well for the time that our mandates overlap, I have a good dialogue with her”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski told journalists in parliament. Earlier the Prime Minister talked about the profile of the future Bulgarian European Commissioner. “I would never compromise with the professional qualities of the candidate. They should be a figure of authority, not only in our country but also among our Euro-Atlantic partners, and be familiar with the work of the European institutions”, the Prime Minister said.
Compulsory voting hides tremendous risks, the Prime Minister says
I have always considered it important to distinguish successful financial and industrial managers - the people who drive economic progress, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski who attended the Burov Awards ceremony. The Prime Minister quoted the words of Bulgarian banker and politician Atanas Burov, saying that the best idea could fail when there is no one to carry the flag; and that flag bearer does not become he who devises plans and mumbles, but he who makes quick and brave decisions and is able to explain. “I am delighted that two of these flag bearers were here on this platform and were given awards”, the Prime Minister said.
All work contacts between representatives of the government and local authorities are useful and contribute to better understanding and coordination of actions, the Prime Minister says
Further steps towards fiscal decentralization was one of the topics discussed by Prime Minister Oresharski and mayors, elected and supported by the Coalition for Bulgaria. “The mayors stressed that at this stage they could feel more favorable treatment on the part of the central government, which for me is a positive assessment of this year's budget and the steps we have taken towards better funding of local authorities”, the Prime Minister said, adding that there was still a lot of work to be done at the Council on Decentralization.
We managed to rescue almost all European funds that were at risk, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice said
The way we defined the objectives of stabilization measures by the end of 2013 was correct and we managed overall, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski at the meeting with mayors, nominated or supported by the Coalition for Bulgaria. The Prime Minister summed up the work of Cabinet for the first seven months in office. Mr. Oresharski pointed out that the country had been found on the threshold of functional and institutional collapse, exhausted by fiscal reserves and huge debts of state enterprises.
“Relations between our two countries have never been at such a high level”, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Ivan Markich said
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski declared Bulgaria’s full support for Serbia in the process of negotiations for EU membership at a meeting with Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivan Markich. He is on official visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs Kristian Vigenin.
At the end of March total debt was BGN 14.4 billion; at the end of the year it is BGN 14.1; we reduced the interest rate for South Stream from 8% to 4.25%, the Prime Minister said
We recovered due VAT in full and we practically begin this year with a clean slate, said Prime Minister Oresharski on NTV. “We paid off a large part of existing obligations. We improved the regulatory framework a lot", said the Prime Minister about the work of the Cabinet over the past seven months. Prime Minister Oresharski focuses on government measures to improve the business environment and reduce administrative burdens. “Perhaps the most important thing is that we liberated the country from the fear. Recently, a friend of mine told me that he had already forgotten the phrase “this is not something that should be discussed over the phone”,the Prime Minister said.
The French Minister for European Affairs emphasized the hard work of the Bulgarian government to create better business environment
Business contacts between Bulgaria and France are far from their potential, said Prime Minister Oresharski during his meeting with French Minister for European Affairs Thierry Repentin. Mr. Oresharski focused on the efforts of the Bulgarian government to encourage investment and promote Bulgaria as a good destination for doing business. “I hope for more activity on the part of French business”, the Prime Minister pointed out.
We stopped the pressure on business, the fear is already gone. We accelerated the absorption of EU funds and minimized their loss. We increased financing for municipalities, the Prime Minister reported
We managed to change the direction, stop the vast majority of the negative trends and make the first steps towards normalization of economic and socio-political life in many sectors, said Prime Minister Oresharski. Today, he presented the third report of the government to the National Assembly. In 20 points the Prime summarized the main results of the work of the government for the past seven months since the beginning of its term.
In the last four years we saw that the non-recovery of VAT negatively affects economic activity, said the Prime Minister
As of December 2013 the bank that collects the most deposits of state companies, concentrates 22%. Several banks come very close, Prime Minister Oresharski said at a briefing in parliament. “During my mandate as minister of finance, there was no systemic problem with company deposits. The figure of the bank with the most deposits was 35-36%. When I started the current mandate [the figure] was over 50%”, said Prime Minister Oresharski.
GERB ought to apologize to people for lying about the debt. If the fee for Renewable Energy Sources (RES) is dropped, we will immediately think of an equivalent instrument to achieve the same end effect, the Prime Minister said.
We have moderately optimistic expectations for recovery in investments in 2014. Our preliminary estimates are for over EUR 2 billion, Prime Minister Oresharski said in the National Assembly. “I am not a supporter of targeted measures in terms of foreign direct investment, but of complex ones”, said the Prime Minister. As an example he gave the amendment to the legal framework in the direction of more effective competition, antitrust law, acceleration of payments to business, timely return of VAT. “On foreign direct investment, I have stated a number of times that we are ready to support each larger investment project by mitigating administrative procedures”, the Prime Minister pointed out. He talked about the negative trends in recent years - while in 2008 foreign direct investments had been around EUR 8 billion, last year they were less than EUR 2 billion. The Prime Minister predicted that the trend would retain its inertia for a certain period, which was usually between six months and one year. “After that we can expect that the change of the economic environment and business climate in Bulgaria will be reflected in the investment intentions of smaller or larger domestic or foreign companies”, the Prime Minister said.
Our main objectives are to create conditions to stimulate economic development, encourage investment and mitigate social asymmetries, the Prime Minister said
Today, our economy still bears the scars of the 5-year recession - the result of objective adverse external conditions and some inconsistency in the internal economic and financial policy. Therefore our efforts are directed towards overcoming the consequences. These efforts can be seen in our actions over the past seven months since the beginning of term, Prime Minister Oresharski said during a business luncheon, organized by the American Chamber of Commerce.
Approved projects will be with a regional focus and will contribute to economic growth, the Minister of Finance said
“Employment generation is the additional eleventh criterion for evaluation of regional projects for more precise differentiation of what proposals will receive funding under the Public Investment Program Growth and Sustainable development of Regions”, said Minister of Finance Peter Chobanov at a press conference after the Council of Ministers approved the terms and criteria for selection of projects and programs, as well as the principles for transparent use of funds under the program with a decree. Thus, the government fulfilled the requirements set by the National Assembly to ensure transparent spending of funds under the program and for the selection of projects and programs . Their implementation seeks to achieve economic growth, sustainable development of regions, increase the competitiveness of the economy and allow the generation of employment and income. The decree outlines the sectors in which projects and programs are eligible to receive funding – water supply and sewage, environment, transport infrastructure, social and cultural infrastructure and other sectors, supporting socio-economic development.
“This is the second most important law after the Constitution and it applies to each and every citizen”, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Zinaida Zlatanova, presenting the main points of the new draft Penal Code. Zlatanova emphasized that the texts adopted today were the professional opinion of lawyers and that the discussion was expected to continue. The Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that all concerns about the document being rushed or lacking sufficient discussion were groundless. She reminded that the current Penal Code had been in force since 1968 and amended nearly 100 times, and that the general part of the project for a new Code had been proposed for discussion two years ago.
Our government has the will to stop the export of cultural items from Bulgaria, said Minister of Culture Petar Stoyanovich. We must continue to work creatively together to preserve what we all recognize to be an invaluable cultural heritage, said U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria HE Marcie Ries
The signing of the memorandum is indicative of the importance we place on the protection of cultural heritage, said Prime Minister Oresharski ,who attended the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding of protecting Bulgarian cultural heritage. The document imposes import restrictions on categories of archaeological and ecclesiastical ethnological materials from Bulgaria. The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to all who had contributed to making the signing of Memorandum possible, including U.S. authorities, who had shown a deep understanding of the importance of the matter.
We must direct our efforts towards effective operation of systems in the interest of citizens, the Prime Minister said
If we remember how 2013 started and the way it ended – there is truly a ray of hope in terms of economic indicators and societal attitudes, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski on TV7. “I am well aware that the difference between this ray of hope and improving the [living] standard of people is still very big and […] a lot of work [is needed] on everyone’s part and mainly on the part of the cabinet”, the Prime Minister added.
Prime Minister Oresharski said he did not support prioritizing certain sectors because it meant abandoning others. According to him, it was important to create good conditions for economic activity in all sectors, and that the country’s natural advantages would develop certain sectors such as agriculture, tourism, mechanical engineering, for example.
In 2012 only 1.5% of the population between 25 and 64 years of age took advantage of lifelong learning. We will reduce the negative results through the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning, the Minister of Education and Science said
Achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is the main goal of the National Strategy for Lifelong Learning 2014-2020, adopted today by the Council of Ministers, Minister of Education and Science Aneliya Klisarova announced at a conference after government meeting. Prof. Klisarova said that strategy had been developed in response to two major challenges - the severe economic crisis and unemployment and the shortage of qualified people in companies. “It is necessary that education matches the needs of the business and the economy”, the Minister pointed out. She also stressed that the rapid technological development was giving rise to new jobs, skills and opportunities.
There are preconditions for 2014 to be better than the past year, said the Prime Minister
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski congratulated State Agency for National Security (SANS) staff personally on their professional day. He wished them less challenges in 2014. The Prime Minister emphasized the refugee wave and the structural reform in the Agency in 2013. “Hopefully, there will be less challenges in the new year and all of you can focus on your main job - protection of national security”, the Prime Minister told SANS staff. He emphasized their big responsibility but also the satisfaction that accompanies a job well done. “I wish you personal success that allows you to achieve professional success. Hopefully we will all have a better year. The prerequisites are there”, concluded the Prime Minister
The Prime Minister congratulates the athletes and coaching staffs for qualifying for the Volleyball World Championship finals in 2014
Prime Minister Oresharski congratulates Bulgaria women’s and men’s national volleyball teams, coaching staff and the Governing Board of the Bulgarian Volleyball Federation for yet another success, which he describes as a good start for Bulgarian sport in 2014
Less politicking and more work that benefits society is needed, the Prime Minister pointed out
May next year be significantly better and may we forget everything bad that happened this year, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski wished on bTV's "Let them talk" program. The Prime Minister pointed out that all efforts to improve society’s state were worth it. “Less politicking and more work is needed. We continue to fulfill the objectives set out in the program and I think that responsible behavior gives results”, the Prime Minister said. Asked by the program’s host how he would finish the sentence “Let them talk…”, Mr. Oresharski responded: “We are working”.
Out of EUR 272 million at risk, to date we have saved EUR 237 million. Today the new Draft Penal Code will be up on the website of the Ministry of Justice, Deputy Prime Minister Zinaida Zlatanova said. We expect that the effect of measures to reduce administrative burdens will be felt next year, Deputy Prime Minister Daniela Bobeva pointed out. We reduced significantly the number of illegal immigrants in the country, Deputy Prime Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev noted
2014 will be the first year of economic recovery, said Prime Minister Oresharski during the annual press conference at Council of Ministers. “The ray of hope, as weak as it still is, is very important since the year began with despair. It seems that at the end of 2013 things are looking up. This is a good incentive and a challenge to work in this direction and expand this ray in 2014”, the Prime Minister added. He pointed out that the government would continue to work to revive the economy and achieve growth. According to Mr. Oresharski, this was the key to solving all other problems, even those that seemingly had nothing to do with economic development.
It is important for the government to play well as a team. 26% of all Cohesion Policy Funds were absorbed in the middle of this year, and 42% - to date, said the Prime Minister
We will continue to encourage economic growth in 2014. This is key. Without restoring the economy, we cannot solve any more problems, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski in Darik Radio’s Interview of the Year. The Prime Minister said that he was optimistic about the overall social and economic state of the country. “The results that next year will be more than positive”, the Prime Minister said, adding that he expected people to appreciate the positive tendencies in the country. The Prime Minister emphasized the fact that the government had a specific program was focused was on its implementation. “So far, the implementation of the main tasks is going according to schedule”, Mr. Oresharski said. According to him, the past six months were a good initial criterion to assess the work of to the entire cabinet as positive. “It is important that the team plays well”, said Prime Minister Oresharski about ministers.
The Prime Minister and the President of the European Commission discussed the economic situation in Bulgaria and the first positive signs over the last two months
The economic situation in Bulgaria, the first positive signs over the last two months and expectations for next year were some of the topics that Bulgarian Prime Minister Oresharski and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso discussed at a meeting in Brussels. "I also briefed him on the monitoring progress," the Prime Minister said about the forthcoming report on Bulgaria after the meeting. The President of the European Commission had assured Mr. Oresharski that the report would be objective. “All criticism will be a good guide for drawing up further policies. Once we see the full report, we will be able to assess whether we have a lot or a little more work to do”, the Prime Minister added. He said he had informed Mr. Barroso on the decision of the National Assembly on land located in the Constitutional Court.
During the European Council, the Prime Minister addressed the modest funding for Bulgaria compared to the large migration flow in recent months
I do not think that joining the Banking Union at a later stage would lead to any potential losses or profits. It is rather quite risky if we join hastily, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski at a media briefing following the meeting of the European Council. The Prime Minister noted that being part of the Banking Union came with a lot of commitments. He pointed out that without being a member of the Eurozone, Bulgarian banks did not have access to refinancing from the European Central Bank.
The Prime Minister and the President of the European Commission will discuss the Commission's view on the forthcoming report on Bulgaria
Youth unemployment should fall by 6-7% in the medium term, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski in Brussels. He pointed out that the Council of Ministers had adopted a National Plan for Implementation of the European Youth Guarantee. "I hope that it will be here before Christmas so that we can start adopting funds and begin implementing the program”, the Prime Minister added. He expressed hope that the good investment climate would also have a positive impact.
Additional BGN 15 million would be given to Bulgarian livestock farmers, the Minister of Agriculture and Food announced
The government kept its promise and voted BGN 15 million in additional funding to be paid to Bulgarian livestock farmers, said Minister of Agriculture and Food Dimitar Grekov at a press conference after the meeting of the Council of Ministers. He explained that BGN 5 million was savings under State Fund Agriculture. The Minister pointed out that livestock farmers would receive 70% of national payments until the end of the year. “This decision is [an expression of] solidarity to the problems of Bulgarian livestock farmers”, said the Minister of Agriculture and Food.
The National Plan for Implementation of the European Youth Guarantee became a fact today, said Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy at a press conference after the meeting of the Council of Ministers. “Bulgaria is among the first countries to be ready with this plan and begin its implementation from 1 January”, Ms. Yankova pointed out. She noted that unemployment among young people between the ages of 15 and 24 was currently 28.1%, according to Eurostat. “The goal which we hope to achieve with the Youth Guarantee Plan is to reduce the unemployment rate down to 7% of the total number of unemployed under 29”, the Deputy Minister said.
Prime Minister Oresharski and President Aliyev discussed the possibility to start direct flights between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan
Today we made a real step towards diversification of gas supply to Bulgaria, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski in Baku, Azerbaijan. He attended the ceremony on signing the final investment decision on the Shah Deniz 2 project and met with President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. Prime Minister Oresharski thanked for the invitation and described the ceremony as “historic”.
Signatures in support of the government reached 1 400 000, after new 660 000 were delivered today to the Council of Ministers
Signatures in support of the government reached 1 400 000, after new 660 000 were delivered today at the Council of Ministers. Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski expressed his gratitude and pointed out that the higher the support of society, the more confidence the government had to do its work. “We see this support as an opportunity to work towards reaching our goals – a responsible government in the interest of all Bulgarian citizens, including those who do not support us, of course”, the Prime Minister said. He pointed out that Bulgarian society was facing many challenges. “Our key task is to work towards integrity and encourage economic development”, the Prime Minister added. Mr. Oresharski briefed representatives of civil organizations that initiated the petition on the work of the government so far and plans for next year.
Westinghouse Electric Company, Toshiba Corporation and the Bulgarian Energy Holding signed an agreement to begin negotiations on building Unit 7 of Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski met with Danny Roderick, Chief Executive Officer and President of Westinghouse Electric Company. The two discussed possibilities for future cooperation in the field of nuclear energy and the possibility to build a nuclear power unit using Westinghouse AP 1000 reactor.
After talks between Westinghouse Electric Company, Toshiba Corporation and the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) an agreement was signed to begin negotiations for developing the possibility to build Unit 7 of Kozloduy NPP using AP1000 pressurized water reactor. In upcoming months Westinghouse and Toshiba Corporation will begin defining and specifying the parameters and details of the potential project.
The Prime Minister assessed the situation in Bulgaria and outlined government priorities for next year at a meeting with ambassadors of EU and NATO countries
“Bulgaria has been through difficult moments over the last 24 years - suspension of foreign debt payments, hyperinflation, and national efforts to stabilize the economic and social structure - but they have always been associated with objective preconditions. The political crisis over the past year is primarily subjective and is a result of the unwillingness of parties that did not enter the government to assume their role as opposition. History teaches that such resistance is typical of dictatorship-like regimes, which is yet another indirect evidence of the nature of governance over the previous four years.”, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski told ambassadors of EU and NATO Member States. The meeting was initiated by the Prime Minister to mark the first six months of the cabinet. Deputy Prime Ministers Zinaida Zlatanova, Daniela Bobeva and Tsvetlin Yovchev and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Todor Churov also took part in the two hour meeting.
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski honored the memory of Nelson Mandela by signing a condolence book at the Embassy of South Africa in Bulgaria. “Condolences on the passing of a great politician and champion for civil rights and freedom of others. Honor to his memory”, the Prime Minister wrote.
The governments of Bulgaria and Serbia are expected to discuss the details of a meeting to be held next year. Work is done on new Belgrade-Sofia and Belgrade-Varna air services
Bulgaria has always supported western Balkan countries’, and particularly Serbia’s EU integration. It is in our interest that our neighbors are EU members, and figuratively speaking to remove the borders, objects of disputes throughout history, through our common EU membership, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski following talks with Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and a plenary meeting between the delegations of the two countries. The Bulgarian Prime Minister announced that a joint meeting between the governments of the two countries would be held next year. There were also plans for tripartite talks with the Romanian government. “We have common projects related to the Danube Strategy”, Mr. Oresharski pointed out. He was invited by his Serbian counterpart to visit Belgarade.
The Council of Ministers adopted a decision approving the report of the Minister of Economy and Energy on actions needed to build a new nuclear power unit in Kozloduy NPP. This was announced by Minister Dragomir Stoynev after the government’s meeting today. He pointed out that according to the decision the Minister of Energy and Economy could authorize the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) to negotiate with Toshiba Corporation the signing of a strategic investment agreement for the building of Kozloduy NPP’s new power unit using Westinghouse Electric Company’s AP III 1000 + pressurized water reactor. The Minister is commissioned to organize, coordinate and supervise negotiations on the structuring and financing of the project.
Solving the refugee problem cannot be left exclusively to the state in which refugees are located, Czech Deputy Prime Minister Martin Pecina believes
Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Martin Pecina discussed common views on how to tackle the refugee wave. Prime Minister Oresharski thanked Mr. Pecina for the financial assistance the Czech Republic provided to Bulgaria. The Prime Minister pointed out that EC and Members States should to come up with a more comprehensive concept regarding migration policy. He also voiced hope that effective solutions would be proposed during the Greek Presidency
We will conduct reforms that will stimulate growth, the Prime Minister said.
After five years of recession, we see the first positive signs and we expect the next financial year with hope. My experts and I are moderate optimists about 2014. All prerequisites are there to suggest that next year would be the first year of economic recovery, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski at the beginning of the meeting with the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum. The Prime Minister pointed out that economic recovery depends on both the central government, which provides the prerequisites, and active business participants and their ability to take advantage of the window of opportunity emerging in Europe.
I believe that you will work on implementing the government program and in the interest of your shareholders, the Prime Minister told bankers
“My professional career over the last 20 years has been tightly linked to the difficulties and the rise of banking in Bulgaria. From day one as a senior official in the Ministry of Finance, together with some of you, we made the first steps in the development of the market and government securities; during the most difficult periods of large local financial crises. In the 90s we were not only trying to save not only the banking system, not just individual banks, but also the whole monetary and economic system”. With these words Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski turned to guests during the celebration on the occasion of the Day of the Banker, organized by the Association of Banks in Bulgaria
I hope that with joint efforts we will ensure that many more nominees compete for the first places in the years to come, said the Prime Minister at the Annual Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Awards Ceremony
I am glad to be part of this initiative which brings to the fore examples of successful business that contribute to economic development, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, who took part in the Annual Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Awards Ceremony. “I am convinced that the awards motivate entrepreneurs and pioneers in Bulgaria”, the Prime Minister pointed out, adding, “I hope that with joint efforts we will ensure that many more nominees compete for the first places in the years to come”. Mr. Oresharski pointed out that a large part of government measures were aimed at improving business conditions to demonstrate that the state encourages, rather than suppress the economy and preserve the image of the country as an attractive place to invest in.
Funds for integration policies for people with disabilities for next year have been increased by BGN 12 million, Minister Ademov said
The level of humanity and solidarity of society is assessed through how this society treats the most vulnerable groups. We will focus precisely on these groups. Our efforts are aimed at helping seniors, minors and people with disabilities, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski during his meeting with the National Council for Integration of People with Disabilities (NCIPD). Minister of Labor and Social Policy Hasan Ademov also took part in the meeting.
It is important to demonstrate wisdom and devotion to universal human values. I believe that as a society we will be able to preserve our sensitivity towards all acts of xenophobia and division, the Prime Minister said.
I believe that the holiday of light and tolerance is a good occasion to send a message to society calling for more tolerance and goodwill between people of different ethnicity, religion and culture, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski during a celebration of Hanukkah at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Prime Minister pointed out that the Bulgarian people have proven their tolerance, humanity and sense of justice over the years. “I believe that as a society we will be able to preserve our sensitivity towards all acts of xenophobia, attempts to impose hatred and intolerance, towards hate and division. It is important to demonstrate wisdom and devotion to universal human values – values that we Bulgarians demonstrated to the world 70 years ago regarding our fellow countrymen – Bulgarian Jews”, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister accepted the invitation of Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi to visit Pristina and open a Bulgaria-Kosovo business forum next year
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski accepted the invitation by Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi to open a Bulgaria-Kosovo business forum. The invitation was delivered by Minister of Foreign Affairs Enver Hoxhaj who met with the Bulgarian Prime Minister during an official visit to Bulgaria. It was agreed that the forum would take place in the beginning of next year and serve as a tool to strengthen economic relations between the two countries.
Policy coordination between the cabinet and parliament will significantly improve work, the Prime Minister believes
“Next year will be more difficult for the cabinet. We will do everything to contain the burden within the cabinet, rather than let it fall on the shoulders of Bulgarian citizens. We will strive to ensure that reforms and reorganization are carried out in a manner which minimizes their impact on people”, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski at the end of the seminar between the government, and the parliamentary groups of Coalition for Bulgaria and Movement for Rights and Freedom. The Prime Minister told journalists that the government would continue to improve education, healthcare, as well as the business environment in order to ensure greater entrepreneurship and more investments.
Speech of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski at a seminar, titled “Statehood, Economy, Justice”, between the government and the political parties of Coalition for Bulgaria and Movement for Rights and Freedom.
It has been six months since the beginning of the most difficult government mandate in Bulgarian history. The beginning was marked by difficult to explain fierce resistance from the parties that did not become part of the government.
We witnessed aggression induced within society, unknown until now. It was actively maintained by a hostile media environment, which portrayed rallies as particularly dramatic, even in days when the number of protesters was down to 50-100 unhappy citizens.
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and Minister of Education Anelia Klisarova discussed with students the draft strategy for development of higher education. This is the second public discussion of the draft, after last week’s talks with the Council of Rectors, representatives of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation and unions.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Oresharski and Iraqi government officials announced plans to seek opportunity for a meeting between the Prime Ministers of the two countries next year.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, Iraqi Minister of Industry and Minerals Ahmad Dali and Minister of Trade Khairalla Babiker discussed possibilies to restore traditionally good trade-economic relations between Bulgaria and Iraq during a meeting in Sofia.
We should focus on transparent rules and procedures, improve the laws and apply them, said the Prime Minister in an interview for French Newspaper Le Monde
Plamen Oresharski, Bulgarian Prime Minister as of May 29, has been facing constant anti-government rallies for the past five months. The Former Minister of Finance in a socialist government who began his career in the right end of the political spectrum explains his refusal to hold new elections in an interview for Le Monde
Prime Minister Oresharski welcomed the proposal to establish an association to promote agricultural cooperation with headquarters in Bulgaria
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski confirmed Bulgaria’s interest in infrastructural projects financed through the Chinese credit line of USD 10 billion. In a speech at the CEE-China Summit the Prime Minister noted that Bulgaria would like to attract Chinese investments for key national and regional projects such as highways, railways, hydroelectric plants, ports, airports, etc. He pointed out, howevefr, that in order for EU Member States to take advantage of credit line resources, the Chinese side needs to adopt a more flexible approach with regards to the financfing of projects in line with EU rules. Plamen Oresharski said that Member States are limited in their capability to offer government guarantees. Therefore, an approach that allows the implementation of projects through public-partner partnerships (PPP) or concessions would be more appropriate.
The two governments will meet in February to discuss joint projects
Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta agreed to hold a joint meeting between the two governments in February in Sofia. Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić will also be invited to take part in the meeting. The goal is to establish good coordination between the countries on projects that could be executed under the Danube Strategy.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski met with President of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania Valeriu Zgonea
The President of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania promised Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski that joint projects between the two countries will be considered a priority and voted promptly by Romanian Deputies.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will assist the government in tackling the refugee situation, said Antonio Guterres, Head of UNCR.
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski met with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Antonio Guterres, who is in Bulgaria at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev. European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva also took part in the meeting.
Amendments to the Judiciary Law will be submitted in parliament until the end of the year, the Prime Minister said at the regular sitting of the Supreme Judicial Council
“The judicial system is extremely important for the implementation of the government’s program because I believe the rule of law and independent review of legality are the key elements in the development of democracy and justice”, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski during the opening of the regular sitting of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). The meeting between the Prime Minister and SJC members has no precedent in recent years. The Prime Minister noted that the government’s program, titled “Statehood, Development, Justice” and the appointment of the Minister of Justice as a Deputy Prime Minister clearly demonstrate political will for law and justice to return on the agenda.
One third of resources under EU funds for the whole current period were certified in the last 6 months, The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice announced
Deputy Prime Ministers and Minister of Justice Zinaida Zlatanova announced that ministers are reviewing European Commission (EC)’s comments on the Partnership Agreement the government submitted in the end of August. “We will continue to work to meet EU’s recommendations so that Bulgaria is among the first half of EU member States to sign a Partnership Agreement”, Zlatanova said at a press-conference following a government meeting. She explained that EC’s recommendations were not surprising. “They relate to speeding up reforms in healthcare, education and science, water sector, e-government and other policies that we have been behind on for years”, the Deputy Prime Minister noted.
In 2015 the government will return taxes that lowest income earners paid in 2014, the Prime Minister said
The government plans to propose a tax relief scheme for lowest income earners. Under the scheme, in the beginning of 2015 people who receive minimum wage will be able to get a return on taxes paid in 2014. This will happen after filing a simplified annual tax return form. According to preliminary estimates, about 200,000 people will benefit from the measure, which will deprive the budget of around BGN 150 million in revenues. This is what Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said during a discussion on “The Fight against Poverty in Bulgaria”, which took place in Parliament. The idea has already been discussed with economic teams and parliamentary groups that support the cabinet, as well as with the two national unions.
A draft policy on medications will be submitted for public discussion within the next two weeks, Deputy Minister of Health Boyko Petrov said.
It only looks as if social expenditure is small part of the budget; almost 100% of the budget goes to people. Even investments go mainly towards construction workers, where unemployment is highest”, said Prime Minister during his traditional meeting with protesters. The latest meeting was dedicated to education and healthcare. Minister of Education and Science Anelia Klisarova and Deputy Minister of Health Boyko Penkov also took part in the meeting.
The termination of the project for new maritime container terminals in the ports of Varna and Burgas prevented Bulgaria from developing modern services and technologies, the Prime Minister said.
“By terminating the project for new maritime container terminals in the ports of Varna and Burgas, the GERB government prevented Bulgaria from developing modern and efficient services and a number of new technologies that could have made the country more competitive in this industry”, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski in Parliament regarding GERB’s decision in 2012 to use the the JPY 36 billion (EUR 327 million) Japan Bank for International Cooperation loan for other projects.
We are creating favorable conditions for more social responsibility and more active education policies, said the Prime Minister in Parliament
Economic recovery and Bulgaria’s return on the road to growth were some of the topics Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski highlighted with regards to State Budget 2014. Mr. Oresharski stressed that the draft budget creates favorable conditions for more social responsibility and support for the most vulnerable social groups. “The budget will allow for more active education policy that will place an emphasis on vocational training in secondary education and improved higher education. “I hope we will be able to take the first steps in the long overdue health reform”, the Prime Minister added.
Unfortunately there are people in the country who instill negative attitude towards refugees. It is important that our country demonstrates humane attitude towards such tragedy the way it has done throughout history, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski told Bloomberg.
The key challenge this and next year is economic recovery, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski in an interview for Bloomberg. He noted that growth next year is expected to be higher than this year and that the budget is based on an assumption of 1.8% growth. Contributing factors include higher domestic demand and slightly higher external demand which will allow for export growth. “We predict higher FDI levels and higher level of investment activity in the country overall. In the past two years, domestic and foreign investment has been very low, so there is potential in this respect”, the Prime Minister said. Asked about foreign investment forecasts, he notes that the figure in the Budget Law is just less than BGN 2 billion. “I hope this amount is exceeded”, he notes. According to Mr. Oresharski, it is possible to expect increased investment in tourism, machine building and infrastructure. “There are enough investment intentions but let’s wait and see which of them will come true”, the Prime Minister noted. He expressed hope that the good, albeit fragile, external signs in the second half of the year in leading European economies will further develop next year. According to him this will further help the economic recovery process. “The low current growth rate and stagnation is largely the result of the poor performance of EU economies during the first half of the year on one hand, and on the other –the political cycle in the country”, Prime Minister Oresharski added.
During his meeting with the Prime Minister, President of Global Village Champions Foundation Yank Barry noted that living conditions in refugee centers in Bulgaria are better than those in other countries.
“Charity work proves that the world can be different. Your example deserves to be promoted”, Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski told President of Global Village Champions Foundation Mr. Yank Barry during a meeting at the Council of Ministers today. The Prime Minister noted that he is impressed with Mr. Barry’s work.
The civil war in Syria has been raging for three years now. The bloodshed claimed the lives of more than 100 000 people and millions of Syrians were forced out of their homes. A proud nation with rich history is currently being subjected to suffering and pain. The refugee wave from Syria has been provoked by a conflict that destroys millions of human lives. People arrive in our country running away from the evil of war.
Bulgaria is obliged to treat the problem responsibly in the name of universal values, which place life and human rights as the highest good. Throughout the years, the Bulgarian people have demonstrated their tolerance to and solidarity with people in distress. This is part of our national culture and something to be proud of.
Relations between central and local government and fiscal decentralization will continue to be priorities throughout the entire term
We can reduce poverty by creating conditions for economic development, said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski at a briefing after his meeting with from Kardzhali municipality’s Governor and mayors. The Prime Minister noted the need for conditions which reduce unemployment and encourage income growth.“There is a large group of Bulgarians who are “working poor”, he said. Social measures as and business incentives are both very important, according to Mr. Oresharksi. “We will encourage the implementation of business projects in any way, including financially where necessary. We believe that each condition that encourages the development and growth of the economy is worth supporting”, the Prime Minister said.
The immigration pressure burden should be shared more evenly among member-states, and not fall on countries in Southern Europe, the Bulgarian Prime Minister says in an interview for Greek newspaper Naftemboriki
The influential Greek newspaper Naftemporiki published an interview with Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, titled “The crisis is not resolved through increased taxation”. In the interview, the Prime Minister talks about the consequences of the crisis in Bulgaria. He notes that, even though the country dodged financial turmoil thanks to the prudent financial and fiscal policy prior to the crisis, the country sees a drop of economic growth from over 6% for 2004-2008 to negative figures in 2009; a drop of direct foreign investment from 9 billion leva in 2007 to less than 2 billion leva for last year; nearly twofold unemployment increase which significantly affected people’s income.
We negotiated significantly better terms than the ones previously agreed, the Prime Minister said
Over 20 million leva will be needed until the end of the year to implement the plan to tackle the refugee crisis, which resulted from the high influx of people, seeking asylum in Bulgaria, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski told journalists. “We are hoping that the amount will be partially reimbursed thanks to European solidarity and member states that said they would help. It is unrealistic to expect that the amount will be reimbursed in full”, the Prime Minister added. The rest of the money will be provided through cost restructuring. “We are working towards more substantial support from the European Commission for next year”, Mr. Oresharski added.
Dragomir Stoynev: We are not required to provide bank guarantees. We will have direct access to natural gas and we will not depend on other countries. We will begin receiving dividends from the first year the pipeline reaches full capacity.
We defended our position well at the European Council which is why other leaders accepted it. The refugee wave is not directly linked to Bulgaria becoming part of Schengen; it would rather bring us closer if we conscientiously fulfill our commitments, said the Prime Minister.
Ministries and municipalities will be able to apply for funding with their own projects, aiming to increase growth, employability, competitiveness and decrease regional disparities, thanks to a new 500 million public investment program, the Minister of Finance said.
The construction of barriers to protect the most vulnerable section of Bulgaria’s border will begin immediately. There will be strict selectivity with regards to people who enter the country illegally, said the Minister of Interior.
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski congratulated Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov on his his first ATP World Tour title at the Stockholm Open. In a telephone conversation with president of Bulgarian Tennis Federation Stefan Tsvetkov, the Prime Minister sent his warmest greetings to the winner.
Prime minister Plamen Oresharski congratulates doctors for October 19, St. Ivan Rilski day and Bulgarian National Doctors' Day and whishes them good health, personal happiness and professional success.
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