Bulgaria’s Cabinet agreed on October 26 to give pensioners receiving pensions of up to 300 leva a month a “Christmas bonus” of 40 leva each – about 20.45 euro.
The payment will be made at the same time as regular December payments, going to about 1.2 million people out of Bulgaria’s 2.1 million retirees.
The “bonus” will cost state coffers about 50 million leva, according to the government.
Paying “bonuses” to pensioners earning the smallest pensions is something of a custom among Bulgarian governments.
Social Policy Minister Zornitsa Rusinova said that over two years, the government had allocated more than 250 million leva for Christmas and Easter allowances for pensioners.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said that the December 2016 payment would be made without touching the state reserve. The additional money came from funds collected by revenue agencies from smugglers, while the work being done by the Interior Ministry and prosecutors also enabled the collection of more money due to the state, according to Borissov.