Mareshki forecasts doom for GERB – United Patriots coalition government

Volya party leader Vesselin Mareshki has forecast that a forthcoming coalition government combining Boiko Borissov’s GERB and the nationalist United Patriots will not prove sustainable.

In an interview on April 11 with local television station bTV, Mareshki said that a GERB-United Patriots coalition government would not last, mathematically and in policy terms.

In the March 26 parliamentary elections, Mareshki’s party became the smallest of five groups in the new National Assembly, with 12 out of 240.

In spite of speculation that Borissov’s GERB might seek to form a coalition with the United Patriots and also involving Mareshki’s Volya, there have been talks solely between GERB and the nationalists, which together have a slim majority of 122 MPs.

Mareshki said that no one had sought out his party for talks. He said that he expected constructive dialogue.

It remained for him to prove that his party was positioned in the political centre-right, which would make it a natural partner, he said.

Mareshki, best-known for his cut-price pharmacy and fuels businesses, said that he planned to go to work regularly as an MP. Because he had no property in capital city Sofia, at the beginning he would use state-provided accommodation, he said.

Meanwhile, negotiations between GERB and the United Patriots were continuing on April 11.

On April 10, United Patriots co-leader Valeri Simeonov told reporters that GERB and the United Patriots had come closer on a coalition position on pensions.

The United Patriots have insisted on a significance increase in the level of minimum pensions, while earlier a number of senior GERB figures said that while they favoured this in principle, it was not easy to see how this would be funded sustainably.

The view of Simeonov, who this past weekend said that an announcement about a government was possible by the end of the week, was echoed by GERB deputy leader and negotiating team member Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who said he was confident that by the end of the week results could be announced that would lay the foundation for a cabinet that would be stable and serve a full four-year term.

According to Tsvetanov, by the close of the round of talks on April 10, GERB and the United Patriots had achieved full consensus on policies on security, energy, tourism and sport.

Participants in the talks repeatedly have said that they had not yet discussed who would have which cabinet portfolios, and nor have they discussed who will be Speaker of the National Assembly and who will be nominated as Bulgaria’s new European Commissioner.




The Sofia Globe staff

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