Bulgaria’s new PM orders Cabinet to check big spending by previous administration

Bulgaria’s new Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov has ordered his Cabinet to check large-scale spending by their ministries in recent weeks and months and check if there are any delayed procedures, Bulgarian National Television reported.

Denkov issued the order at the first meeting of the new Cabinet, held on June 7, a day after being voted into office by the National Assembly.

In the nine months preceding the Denkov administration taking office, caretaker governments appointed by President Roumen Radev have had stewardship of Bulgaria.

Denkov referred to media reports “about the distribution of billions of leva without it being clear whether they are directed appropriately, effectively and efficiently”, as well as about delayed procedures in ministries that risk leading to the loss of funding.

“Any delay in the last year of the programme period can cost the Budget and the state very dearly,” Denkov said.

He singled out at the Cabinet’s immediate tasks the preparation of the Budget, calling on all ministers to assist the Ministry of Finance; the staffing of the cabinets by ministries, given the release of the deputy ministers on the last day of the caretaker government; the completion of the governance program together with the experts from the National Assembly, which Denkov defined as “our plan, schedule, Bible”.

At a handover ceremony on June 6, Denkov scolded outgoing caretaker prime minister Gulub Donev for dismissing all the deputy ministers, damaging prospects for continuity in administration.

“Please act expeditiously and decisively because we don’t have time,” Denkov told the June 7 meeting.

“No one is going to give us 100 days, and at the same time it shouldn’t be at the expense of quality,” he said. The reference to “100 days” is to the traditional “honeymoon” period accorded to incoming administrations.

Before being voted into office as Finance Minister, Assen Vassilev said that he would withdraw the draft Budget presented by then-caretaker finance minister Rositsa Velkova and table a new one, with a deficit of three per cent.

(Photo of Denkov: government.bg)

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