At a regular meeting on April 17, the Bulgarian government approved additional funds for the organisation and hosting of the May 2019 visit by Pope Francis, the government information service said.
The May 5 to 7 visit to Bulgaria by Pope Francis is the first by a Vatican head of state and head of the Roman Catholic Church in 17 years, the statement said. The previous visit was by Pope John Paul II in 2002.
“It is of great importance for establishing Bulgaria as a model of ethnic and religious tolerance and as a reason for positive messages to the Bulgarian public about peace and prosperity,” the government statement said.
The additional costs approved by the government decree add up to 866 000 leva (about 442 778 euro).
Of this sum, 759 000 leva goes to the Cabinet budget, 77 000 leva to the Interior Ministry, and 30 000 leva to the National Security Service.
The statement said that the funds are being made available through restructuring of spending and transfers to the central budget for the current year.
To see the full programme of the visit by Pope Francis to Bulgaria, please click here.