Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov is sending five to six cabinet ministers to Brussels to plead for the speeding up of the release of European Union funds, as the country faces the plight of being unable to pay salaries of thousands of employees.
The now-departed Bulgarian Socialist Party administration pushed through increases in salaries for Interior Ministry employees without budgeting for them. This and other serious shortcomings by the former administration are being addressed by Budget 2014 amendments currently making their way through Parliament.
Speaking before a November 19 meeting of the cabinet, Borissov said that he was sending five to six ministers to EU headquarters to “do everything possible” to recover the irrecoverable.
Payments from EU funds are expected no earlier than June 1 2015, according to Borissov.
He said that before the cabinet, Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov had reported that there was no money to pay salaries in the field of culture because the budget was zero, and Interior Minister Vesselin Vuchkov had said that the ministry had no money for salaries.
“We will explain the plight we are in,” Borissov said, adding that he was aware that Brussels worked on the basis of rules. If those in Brussels showed “some unprecedented kindness and humanity to Bulgaria, we are hoping to succeed.”
“The most appropriate term is that we will take to begging,” Borissov said.