Bulgaria's prime minister is out, but austerity remains. What's next?
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Bulgaria's prime minister is out, but austerity remains. What's next?
Among those who’ve taken to the streets in protest, one of the central frustrations is that many of the same figures have occupied their government for nearly two decades now. Activists blame an immobile old guard, rooted in the past and short on new ideas, for many of the nation's ills.

“We didn’t complete our transition to a democratic country with an open market. The transition failed in this country,” says Panayot Nikolov, an unpaid consulting intern and recent graduate who was among the protesters. “I am part of a new generation and we are waking up.”

Bulgaria is the poorest country in the European Union. The average resident’s monthly salary is less than $550 per month and has not increased for years. The nation was hit particularly hard by the global recession in 2008, which led to a tenfold reduction in foreign investment.

Like many of its neighbors, Bulgaria has sought to shore up its economy through a number of austerity measures, including freezing government salaries and delaying payments to the private sector.

“Bulgaria is one of the examples that you cannot revitalize the economy with austerity," says Rumen Gechev, director of the Center on Sustainable Development at the University of National and World Economy in Sofia. "In order to restore economic growth, you have to stimulate investments. There is no other way. How will you stimulate investments with austerity? Decreasing the purchasing power of households, not paying the private companies?”

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/20...hat-s-next
2013 Feb 23 01:53
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Temnozor
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RE: Bulgaria's prime minister is out, but austerity remains. What's next?
The EU is unreliable and you can't trust its promises, Bulgaria should halt all doctrines dictated by Brussels and search for other investors. It also would help to continue construction of the nuclear power plant in Belene I'd say, as lower energy costs attract more investors as a rule.

"Whoever says that he "belongs to his time" is only saying that he agrees with the largest number of fools at that moment." - Nicolás Gómez Dávila

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2013 Feb 23 13:52
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Kalevanpoika (23-02-2013)
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RE: Bulgaria's prime minister is out, but austerity remains. What's next?
Temnozar, we're benefiting from EU membership. We've gotten billions upon billions of subsidies allowing us to recover from the socioeconomic crisis of the country in the 1990s much faster. No one in the country looks at the EU as an evil institution except for some fringe right-wingers who holds no serious political office.

In the new EU budget 2014-2020 our premier actually managed to secure extra funding in the ballpark of 15 billion euros or about 15% of our total GDP over 6 years. That is going to be a huge boost to our economy since it is what we needed... more cash infused into the economy to make up for the losses in the 90s.

CEZ is not the EU. It's ridiculous to place the blame with the EU when it is the arrogant executives at the CEZ who decided to raise energy prices and caused the political crisis in Bulgaria. They mostly serve the western half of the country meaning Sofia which is the most populated and politically active part of the country. They shot themselves in the foot when they decided to take more than 25% of the average Bulgarian income with their price increase. No Bulgarian whose average income is about 800 leva wants to pay more than 200 leva on heating. That's what CEZ did.

About the nuclear power plant fiasco that is Belene NPP. I do support the construction but it is largely the fault of Bulgarian socialists who failed to secure a reliable investor that's caused the project to be stuck in limbo for many years. We already have Kozloduy and a new unit should be constructed soon and that should serve our needs for now.
2013 Feb 25 00:18
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