Monday’s media focus heavily on the question whether or not May 24 (Day of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius, of the Bulgarian Alphabet, Education and Culture and of Slav Letters) should be declared national holiday, replacing March 3 (National Day of Bulgaria, or Liberation Day).
“The debate on which national holiday should be the national holiday has been going on for a long time. Beyond this debate, for all of us May 24 is the most organic, the most Bulgarian holiday. It is not ours alone, in terms of the contribution that the holy brothers and their disciples have made to European cultural and spiritual history. To think of our national identity through the prism of the brightest pages of our history is very important and positive in the times in which we live… Part of the social contract are the values around which the Bulgarian nation was formed. It is important that these values be brought to the constitutional level,” said Justice Minister Atanas Slavov on BNR.
Nova TV says that the Budget for 2023 will be a major topic for the MPs this week. The finance committee in Parliament is holding an extraordinary sitting to consider the budget on second reading, and by the end of the week it is expected to be adopted by the National Assembly.
The proposed increase in spending between the two readings exceeds BGN 300 million – the funds are for salaries in various areas of the public sector. In order not to grow the gap in the budget, the money will be taken from the already foreseen capital expenditures of the different departments. BGN 150 million is being channeled into the Interior Ministry system. More than BGN 30 million is earmarked for the emergency services and regional health inspectorates.
The caretaker government as an institution will continue to exist, but it will have more limited powers. The President will not have unlimited choice on the composition – the outgoing cabinet will continue to act as a caretaker cabinet, thus preserving the link between Parliament and the executive, said CC-DB’s MP Nadezhda Yordanova on Nova TV, commenting on the constitutional amendments proposed by the coalition on Sunday. Practice shows that when the resigning government performs the functions of a caretaker government, the newly elected majority forms a cabinet more quickly, she explained.
The only candidate for head of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) will be heard today by the health committee in Parliament, 24 Chasa writes. After the deadline for nominations expired on July 17, the only candidacy for the post remained that of Stanimir Mihailov. He was proposed by the parliamentary group of Continue the Change – Democratic Bulgaria.
MPs Andrey Gyurov and Petar Chobanov will be heard today as candidates for deputy governors of the BNB at an extraordinary meeting of the budget committee in Parliament. Gyurov and Chobanov are the nominees of BNB Governor Dimitar Radev, who was recently reelected for a second term.
Trud reports that the rules for serving traffic tickets and acts will be changed between the first and second readings of the 2023 draft budget. Together with the draft budget, the Council of Ministers submitted to Parliament proposals for amendments to the Road Traffic Act. Some of the proposed changes envisage that traffic police acts and tickets can be served electronically, through an employer, or through the Ministry of Interior’s website.
Restaurant Owners Strike Back
Tourism Minister Zaritza Dinkova urged on Sunday the organisation of restaurant owners to rethink their behaviour towards their customers, as well as their attitude towards the image of the Bulgarian tourism product.
The reason for her call was a complaint from a customer who paid BGN 500 for three steaks in a restaurant in Varna, when the menu price was for 100 grams.
The association of restaurant owners intend to sue the man who reported the case on social networks.
Restaurant owners came out today with a new position, in which they demanded the resignation of Minister Dinkova.
“Tourism Minister Zaritza Dinkova has declared open war on our industry. We knew from the first moment that she could not be relied on as she had no expertise and we did not count on her support, but to obstruct us in such a brutal way – we did not expect. While she is struggling to get some millions to us, we obviously have to explain to her that, since the VAT cut and the final end to the COVID-19 crisis, tax and social security revenues for our sector have increased, not decreased. The claim about the millions only proves that Dinkova has not even bothered to check the data in question, but is talking by rote, just to attack us,” reads part of the position of the restaurant owners. The topic is covered by most media.
“I think a lot of businesses are trying to deliver a quality service. I see no reason to talk about my resignation. The minister’s job is to balance consumers and businesses. I have protected the interest of the entire tourism sector. We cannot demonstrate that attitude in the industry. The image of Bulgarian tourism cannot be threatening customers with a lawsuit,” Tourism Minister Zaritza Dinkova told journalists on Monday.
The purpose of the establishment of the gas pipeline between Bulgaria and Greece is to achieve greater integration of the energy markets of the two countries, Greek Prime Minister’s Energy Policy Adviser George Kremlis said in a BNT interview. Connecting the energy markets opens up the possibility of transporting green energy from Egypt through Greece to Bulgaria via submarine cables, where it can be stored and transported. According to Kremlis, the Sea2Sea project will now connect the Aegean and Black Sea ports of Thessaloniki, Kavala, and Alexandroupoulis with Bulgaria’s Burgas, Varna; and Ruse with Romania’s Constanta and Ukraine’s Odessa; and establish a rail line that will speed up green transport in the Balkans and aid Ukraine’s recovery when it gets to that stage.
A check by bTV of health prices in Burgas shows that sea resorts in the south rely on the state emergency medical care, and prices for foreigners are twice as expensive as for Bulgarians. In Sunny Beach, only private medical centres take care of tourists’ health, and most of them lack a published price list. The only free medical care at the sea is in the emergency centres. There are 21 ambulances in the entire Burgas region. However, due to lack of staff, only 12 of them are working. That is why more and more often people have to use private transport.
The verdict in the case of journalist Milen Tsvetkov’s death will have a general preventive effect on the behaviour of drivers, said on the air of Nova TV Menko Menkov – lawyer for the journalist’s family. Last year, the Supreme Court of Cassation sentenced the accused in the crash, Christian Nikolov, to nine years in prison.
Placido Domingo will have a surprise appearance in Sofia, in addition to the concert on September 11 at Arena Sofia, which is included in the world tour. On September 15, the 82-year-old Domingo will conduct Verdi’s opera “La Traviata” at the Sofia Opera and Ballet. Tickets for the performance are already on sale and cost between BGN 90 and 200.
The highest level of warning, code red, has been issued for three areas of the country, where temperatures are expected to reach 42C: Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo and Ruse, the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology said, as quoted by Nova TV. On the Black Sea coast (Burgas, Varna and Dobrich), as well as in Sofia, Sofia region and Pernik, a yellow code is in force. After the peak of the heat spell on Tuesday (July 25), winds will bring a well-defined cold front passing through, and temperatures will drop rapidly and significantly.