Bulgarian Prime Minister and GERB party leader Boiko Borissov held talks on September 26 with the three co-leaders of the United Patriots, with the meeting agreeing that there were “no problems between the coalition partners”.
The United Patriots, a grouping of far-right and ultra-nationalist parties, is the minority partner in the third Borissov government, formed in May 2017 after early parliamentary elections.
The meeting came after, in recent days, Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov, one of the three co-leaders of the United Patriots, complained that there had been no dialogue with Borissov lately.
Simeonov’s claim was contradicted by Krassimir Karakachanov, another of the United Patriots’ co-leaders and Defence Minister in the Borissov government, who said that he spoke to the Prime Minister regularly – even though they were in separate buildings, unlike Simeonov who has an office in the main Cabinet building.
The September 26 meeting produced an agreement to meet more regularly.
Borissov said that the coalition council meeting was held “because I and Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov were at work all summer and the others were on holiday and there was little pressure in this regard”.
Asked about demands for salaries of employees in the security sector to be increased, Borissov said: “Most of all, I want the income of police, firefighters, teachers, military and pensioners increase. The moment we see what the revenue is, we will think about the police”.
As to protests planned by Interior Ministry employees from January 1, Borissov said that he did not operate under pressure and added that he would meet with the trade unions whenever they wanted, to show them the financial parameters.
Borissov said that money also should be spent on court police, ambulance and nursing staff “and this cannot happen immediately”.
He said that he would discuss with the defence and interior ministers how much the state should increase the budgets of these ministries.