Bulgaria’s PM: Put country above party, but ‘we are not afraid of elections’

In a video message on June 10, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said that he believed that there were people with high morals in Parliament who would choose Bulgaria over their party leader, “especially if this party leader is a former singer who most irresponsibly decides to risk this government just because of his personal ego”.

Petkov was referring to ITN party leader Slavi Trifonov, who on June 8 said that he was withdrawing ITN from the ruling majority, resulting in question marks over the future of key legislation such as the Budget amendments, and of the government itself.

On June 10, ITN alleged that Petkov had attempted to bribe some of their MPs to vote with the government on legislation such as the Budget amendments.

Petkov’s We Continue the Change party has rejected these allegations.

The Prime Minister criticised the GERB-UDF, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Vuzrazhdane and ITN parliamentary groups for not wanting to support the Budget amendments and said that he would speak to all MPs who believed that they have a responsibility to the state.

“Why don’t these parties want to increase pensions, just when these people need support against inflation the most? Why shouldn’t we support young families with additional tax incentives?” Petkov said.

He expressed concern that if the Budget amendments were not approved, pensioners would remain below the poverty line because of inflation, and there would be no electricity subsidies for businesses.

By the end of the year, a number of laws should be approved, and if this did not happen, the EU Recovery and Sustainability Plan funds for Bulgaria would not arrive, Petkov said.

“Why don’t we want to reduce the price of petrol? Because of political intrigue, political games. This is very irresponsible. That is why I will continue to talk to any MP who feels that his responsibility is not to someone’s party leader, but to Bulgaria,” he said.

Petkov said that his We Continue the Change party was not afraid of elections, “on the contrary”.

“It is clear that today we are on a watershed – on the side of corruption and behind-the-scenes (dealings) or on the side of transparency and care for people,” he said.

(Screenshot of Petkov’s video address posted on the Cabinet’s Facebook page on June 10)

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