Likening his Bulgarian Socialist Party as Churchill to Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s ruling GERB party as Hitler, socialist leader Sergei Stanishev has set out the party’s 2013 election platform as promising the creation of 250 000 jobs, increasing the minimum wage and pensions and restarting the building of Belene nuclear power station.
Stanishev and the socialists were in power from 2005 to 2009 but Borissov’s GERB won scheduled parliamentary elections to send the BSP into opposition. National parliamentary elections are expected to be held in July 2013 and polls show Stanishev’s party as having slightly closed the gap with GERB.
Stanishev likened his party to Churchill leading the British people in standing alone against Hitler in 1940. In holding this defensive line, “Bulgaria is behind us,” said Stanishev.
Stanishev’s message was one of turning his party’s policy leftward and his exhorted BSP members to “first think of the small person” and to “favour the Bulgarian”.
He promised lower taxes and the abolition of the 10 per cent flat tax on individual and corporate incomes in favour of a progressive taxation system.
Dwelling on the theme of unemployment, Stanishev emphasised Bulgarians’ low incomes, and said that ruling party GERB had taken Bulgaria “back to the Middle Ages” and brought the country “to its knees”.
He said that he sought a convincing victory in the 2013 national parliamentary elections and promised that the BSP would not enter a coalition government with GERB.
Picking up the theme of the nationwide protests against high electricity bills, Stanishev addressed himself to the thousands of protesters, “you are not alone, your voice is heard”.
He said that because of Borissov’s government, it had become obvious that “the state is broke, poverty and unemployment are widespread, and the middle class is destroyed along with small and medium business”.
(Photos: Ivan Stoimenov/bsp.bg)