Bulgarian socialists abandon bid to challenge government’s 8B euro debt plan

Bulgaria’s largest parliamentary opposition party, the socialists, said on May 21 that they would not challenge the government’s three-year eight-billion euro borrowing plan at the Constitutional Court, after failing to secure necessary support from two smaller parties.

To lodge a complaint, the socialists need the signatures of 48 MPs, one-fifth of the 240 members of the National Assembly. The party only has 39 seats and had targeted two parties with 11 MPs each: ultranationalists Ataka, who voted against the bill in Parliament, and fellow left-leaning ABC – a socialist splinter that backs the government, but whose leader, former president Georgi Purvanov, has criticised his party’s MPs for voting in favour of the cabinet’s debt plan.

“We will not lodge the complaint with the Constitutional Court because Ataka refused to sign and ABC would not sign either, so we cannot get the necessary 48 signatures and will not put this obviously unconstitutional act of the National Assembly on the court’s agenda,” socialist leader Mihail Mikov told reporters in Parliament.

ABC said that they had not been approached to support the socialists’ complaint, but would consider it if the party was allowed to review the legal motives for the complaint, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio reported.

At the time the bill was debated, in February, the BSP has claimed that the centre-right coalition government was pushing Bulgaria into a “Greek scenario” debt spiral and that the real intention was to use the money for military rearmament, allegations that the cabinet and the parties backing it denied.

According to the government, the bulk of the new borrowing would be used to refinance existing debt, while the rest would be used to cover planned budget deficits in 2015/17.

(Socialist leader Mihail Mikov, screengrab from Bulgarian National Television)



The Sofia Globe staff

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