Parliament Passed Crisis Budget

: Parliament Passed Crisis Budget
: MPs understand the seriousness of the situation, thats why they backed the budget without comments, Minister of Finance Simeon Dyankov thinks

Except for Co-chair of the Blue Coalition Ivan Kostov, MPs showed no interest to debating the theme of the states money distribution. The draft-bill is expected to get corrected between its two hearings

Elena Dimitrova | 17.11.2009 16:44

There is a risk the economys shrink in the next year might be underestimated with the current variant of the 2010 state budget, Co-chair of The Blue Coalition Ivan Kostov warned. He only took part to the debate” on the Law on the State Budget before its approval at first hearing in the Parliament. Kostov, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, and Minister of Finance Simeon Dyankov shared similar opinions over how difficult it is right now an exact planning of the states future revenues and expenses to be composed. The Blues leader appealed for guaranteeing the fiscal stability and proposed some


state agencies to be closed or transformed, such as the Agency for Post-Privatization Control, the State Commission for Information Safety, and the Bulgarian Bank for Development,


 and to get merged in, correspondingly, the Privatization Agency, the State Agency for National Security (SANS), and the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB). These ideas are not alien to finance minister Dyankov, who explained to himself the rush through the debate as understanding the seriousness of the situation” by MPs, who, by the way, behaved the same during the discussions on the document at the budget and economy parliamentary committee.

Despite the fact even before the tabling of the draft-bill with the Parliament the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) posed a declaration against it, and ethnically Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) voiced some comments this budget was lacking face of its own”, the bill was approved at first hearing with 135 votes pro and 44 cons. Simeon Dyankov emphasized that was the best budget in the entire European Union. The minister viewed the balancing of revenues and expenses, but admits, though, that the outlooks over how the economy would develop in the next year are right now more than fairly. Yet according to the Deputy Prime Minister with this budget Bulgaria shortens the time to entering the financial mechanism ERMII preceding the Eurozone, and that was the only way for the countrys quickest possible getting out of the crisis.


Economy growth recovery is expected to start in 2011, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said during the discussion.


He emphasized the budget was drafted in a difficult for the country times and is an expression of the policy for overcoming the negatives of the crisis, and the government should reorient public finances in order of guaranteeing fiscal sustainability. Restructuring is ahead in education, as well as administration reforms for improving public services quality and binding wages with labour efficiency, the prime minister stated.

The big question mark is still connected to the money for healthcare, which, in the so approved of draft-bill variant is by some BGN 200 million less. At a meeting with branch organisations and the ministers of finance and healthcare a day ago Borissov promised the money for hospitals would not be less at least by mid-2010 and no returning of even a single patient from the hospital door would be forced due to a lack of funds in medical institutions.

Today Minister of Finance Simeon Dyankov, Minister of Healthcare Bozhidar Nanev, Chair of CEDBs parliamentary faction Iskra Fidosova, and co-leaders of The Blue Coalition Ivan Kostov and Martin Dimitrov signed a


memorandum through which BGN 450 million more for healthcare should be guaranteed for the next year.


Out of it, BGN 350 million will go for medical attendance, BGN 60 million – for cancer suffering, BGN 10 million – for patients on haemodialysis, and BGN 30 million will be for emergency aid. Increasing the money for some hospitals will be at the expense of the refusal of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to conclude agreements with other medical institutions after the healthcare ministry drafted criteria for treatment and services quality in them. The details on this point will be clear in the beginning of next year.

Before the second reading in the draft budget should also be included the correction about one-time aids for twins and mothers students, which the finance ministry just forgot” including before the voting on the budget in the government. Its yet to be seen if the reforms Kostov proposed in plenary hall would appeal to the majority and whether the Borissov Cabinet will really not allow Bulgaria to suffer what happened to countries as Hungary, Romania, Lithuania, and Latvia, which were forced by the recession to cut dramatically not only wages, but also pensions and other social payments.


So far it has never happened so, that at discussing state budget and a major law, representatives of the ruling majority not to defend what they back and propose to the National Assembly,


its their engagement. We were well aware of what was coming, so we waited to hear opinions, if there would be a statement, or opinion of the majority, so that we could see if there was any point in debating. There is no point debating, debates with this coalition are not possible.  Essentially, if I follow the prime ministers statements, theyll be working after this years budget. He says: You work calmly, spend as much as you need, and after the summer – we shall see. Speaking in terms of reality, theres no point of having a budget law”, BSP Leader Sergey Stanishev said, cited by Darik Radio. Chair of the parliamentary faction of Coalition for Bulgaria Anguel Naidenov went even further and blamed Parliamentary Speaker Tzetzka Tzacheva for violating the rules on MPs work by not giving the chance for a discussion to happen. MPs from the MRF are said to have submitted written requests to pose statements, and those from the left stated they would comment in the process of debating depending on the arguments the ruling majority would point. But such did not show up, and then the blame was transferred to the opposition, Naidenov outraged.



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