Members of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s coalition government summed up the most notable points of 2019 at the Cabinet’s final meeting for the year, held on December 27.
Borissov gave his ministers three minutes each to report on how they saw the year.
Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said that with regard to Bulgaria’s accession to the ERM II – the exchange rate mechanism, sometimes referred to as the euro zone’s “waiting room” – the government had adopted a plan with several points in 2018, “all of which have already been implemented”.
“The only condition that remains is the fulfillment of the plans to increase the capital buffers of two of the Bulgarian banks,” Goranov said.
Justice Minister Danail Kirilov said: “We succeeded in answering correctly a question incorrectly put. The question of the responsibility of the Prosecutor-General.
Addressing Borissov, Kirilov said: “Of particular importance was your commitment, which was made to the representative mission of the Venice Commission on behalf of Bulgaria, to strictly implement the recommendations, which we knew would not be favourable to us”.
Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev described 2019 as having been a difficult year with many political challenges – elections, crises, African Swine Fever.
This had been the latest year in which Bulgaria had lost no European funding, and 80 per cent of the funding for the new programming period had been contracted. “In addition, we have one of the most transparent monitoring systems,” Donchev said.
Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva described as successes the new portfolio given to Bulgaria’s Mariya Gabriel in the Ursula von der Leyen European Commission – “Research, Innovation, Education, Culture and Youth” – and the election of Kristalina Georgieva as the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
Regarding Brexit, Zaharieva said that 130 000 Bulgarians had been granted domicile in the UK, which was 90 per cent of the number of Bulgarians in that country.
Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov said that 400 more people had joined the armed forces than had left, while there had been renovations of buildings and overhauls of equipment.
Karakachanov said that more had been done in one year than in 30 years, with the acquisition of fighter jets, the military academy and increases in salaries for the military.
Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said that his ministry was proud of the results in the fight against telephone fraud. He said that cases of telephone fraud in 2019 were half those in the past. He added that it had been a difficult year.
Transport Minister Rosen Zhelyazkov said that a number of key projects have been achieved that were important to the sector, including the Sofia Airport concession.