Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

The budget of Bulgaria needs some 2 bn lv (1 bn euro)

Adelina Marini, July 27, 2009

The new Bulgarian government will not male any political sweeps, just th opposite it will even hail the good achievements of the outgoing tripartite coalition, if there are any. This is what the new Bulgarian prime minister Mr. Boyko Borisov said when assuming the post from the ex-prime minister Sergey Stanishev. "What you have started, what was good, what was tolerated by Brussels, whatever people want to happen will not only be continued but you will also hear your names when we work on specific issues. And vice versa, of course, the vote of the people and the weaknesses you let will have to be removed", Mr. Borisov added.

The ex-prime minister Sergey Stanishev again distanced himself from the voters by saying that his government was successful, admitting that obviously this has not been appreciated by voters. Mr. Stanishev again stated that his party is going to be a constructive opposition to which Mr. Borisov responded that he is used to work with opposition and knows very well what constructive means.

In the same benevolent way the exchange of places happened in the Ministry of Finance where the place of Plamen Oresharski has been taken by Simeon Dyankov. The shift had been expected with great interest because of the speculations surrounding the actual status of the budget. This is also the only Ministry where the ex-minister and the new one worked for weeks together. What they have in common is that they took their posts without being beforehand heavily bound to the parties that nominated them. They both became ministers because of their expertise. The difference is that Simeon Dyankov will also be a vice prime minister. Faithful to his weird sense of humour, the ex-finance minister Plamen Oresharski gave his successor a large envelope with 3 smaller in it by again reminding about the anecdote about the 3 envelopes*. Obviously the ex-minister had followed closely the philosophy of the anecdote.

The new minister has announced that no later than the end of this week he will present his team which will be smaller. In the first months Mr. Dyankov will himself take the responsibility of the revenue administrations and that is why he will have only 2 deputies. Later on a third will join the team. It is also very important that Mr. Dyankov and his team are already very acquainted with the budget and work on it. This is what he said in response to a question of euinside. He added that work has started on the budget for 2010 also which is expected by economic analysts to be much harder for the budget.

To escape budget deficit, the exchequer will need some 1.5-2 bn lv (some 750 mn - 1 bn euro) and the new team already knows where to take the money from. The new minister refused to be more specific but after being asked which field will not be touched, he responded without any hesitation: "education".

The first task of the new minister will be the budget for this year to end in balance or even with a little surplus. This has to happen in spite the expectations for very tough Autumn. The second task will be the quick return of VAT back to the business. The third thing will be connecting the customs and the tax administrations with the aim to increase the revenues. Mr. Dyankov said that work has already started on the first 2 tasks. He also warned that the positive effect of all those measures will be felt next year.

*A Director General of a factory is fired because of bad revenues. He is replaced by his deputy. Before leaving the Director General left 3 envelopes to his successor. In the first it was written: "When they start criticizing you, blame your predecessor for everything!". The second: "When the criticism becomes unbearable, start structural reforms!". The third envelope said: "When you don't know what to do start writing your 3 letters!".