All eyes on whether Bulgarian President will put a spoke in the wheels of socialist billion-leva budget tinkering

By August 7, it should become clear whether Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev has decided to exercise his limited right of veto against the Bulgarian Socialist Party government’s amendments to Budget 2013 that bind the country to huge new debt amid a lack of clarity about how the money will be used.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party government and its Movement for Rights and Freedom ally approved the Budget revision in Parliament, against widespread misgivings about the thinking behind the new debt – of about 500 million euro – and the fogginess around how it will be used.The government, in place since May but the target of many thousands of Bulgarians demanding its resignation, has insisted that the Budget revision is essential because of fiscal mismanagement by its centre-right predecessors and to assist Bulgaria’s many socially needy.

But it also seems that of the projected huge sum with which taxpayers will be burdened with repaying, only about four per cent will go to socially-needy people, which – as critics put it – begs the question how the other 96 per cent will be used.

Those supporting the current administration in Bulgaria have tried to discourage President Plevneliev from sending the Budget revisions back for further consideration, with a number of figures from the socialist hierarchy insisting that were he to do so, this would be a violation of the prerogative of the government and (in a factual inaccuracy) claiming that no head of state of democratic Bulgaria ever has sent back a Budget measure.

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(Left to right: President Rossen Pleveneliev, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and socialist leader Sergei Stanishev. Photo: