Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

There are no specific measures in the "Stanishev" plan

Adelina Marini, May 18, 2009

The economic downturn in Bulgaria is the result of bad forecasts of the government, the lack of adequate and timely reaction and the underestimation of the scales of the crisis. This is the opinion shared by the economic experts of the main trade unions in Bulgaria and the Blue coalition. Mika Zaykova from the confederation "Podkrepa" (Support) the "Stanishev" plan is not an anti crisis plan but it evokes crisis itself. She also said that there are serious discrepancies between the data of the national statistics and the real facts. This, according to the National Statistic Agency the unemployment in Bulgaria is a little more than 7 %. But Zaykova estimates that it is at least 2 times bigger because it doesn't count all people that lost their jobs in the grey economy, the construction, tourism and the industry.

The Unions insist on the development of a Pact in which they will present their ideas and the future ruling parties will realistically say what could be done and what not, so that the measures are as realistic as possible. The Unions also complained that the current government has in fact ceased the social partners' dialogue but got assurances from the Blue coalition that this dialogue would not only be continued but it would also deepen and extend.

The Unions insist for the full implementation of the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs as well as the initiative for life long learning. Their expectations are that the future government will consist of a union between GERB and the Blue coalition and that is why they called on all politicians to avoid any coalitions between parties that have nothing in common. In this regard the economic programmes of GERB and the Blue coalition are quite similar.

Answering the question of euinside on whether this similarity is the result of some kind of consultations between the two political forces, Dimitar Bachvarov said that the Blue coalition will go to the polls on its own and this makes GERB their competitor. He added that there is, in fact, a dialogue but on a very principal level but "things in pre-election period are not that easy". The ideas of the Blue coalition are much closer to those of the Unions than the ideas of GERB. To illustrate this Yordan Nehrizov from the Bulgarian Social-Democratic Party, which is part of the Blue coalition, reminded of the TV debate between GERB and BSP (the Bulgarian Socialist Party) regarding the economic crisis. There GERB admitted that the crisis was brought in Bulgaria from the outside which is the position of the socialists too. "Our position was very close to that of the Unions and that is that in Bulgaria there's a wide range of problems which are the result of the bad management of the government of the tripartite coalition - "Kremikovtsi", the gas, the frozen European funds and therefore the loss of jobs. This is what distinguishes from GERB", Nehrizov added.

He also said he was against advertising the Bulgarian economy as attractive with its low wages which was also a view, shared by the Unions. And regarding the question of euinside about the possible inclinations toward populism, typical for some political formations lately, Dimitar Bachvarov said: "Our participation in the future government will encounter one problem - inclination toward some doctrines which we will have to, to say so, sober down, not to let, because one, although big, formation which hasn't actually ruled the country, has nothing to lean on but on theoretical and artificial views which, especially in times of crisis, are not quite useful".

And another important thing - the Blue coalition admits the crash of many economic models and theories due to the crisis. Many of the libertarians ideas, on which the current government often leans, have crushed in front of our eyes and in the next months someone will have to pay the price.

Now, after the meeting with the Unions, a discussion with employers will follow, the Blue coalition promised.