Bulgaria Finance Minister vows to spearhead reforms push

Bulgaria Finance Minister vows to spearhead reforms push

Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov sought to buff his fading reformist image, vowing that any additional funding allocated to Government bodies under the revised 2010 Budget would be conditional on meeting certain reform targets.Dyankov spoke on June 6 at a ministry-organised event in the mountain resort of Borovets, where he presented the draft Budget revision. Cabinet tabled the revised Budget in Parliament on June 4."We will give more money, but the respective ministries and agencies will have to give me plans showing that we would not have the same problem next year," Dyankov was quoted as saying by Dnevnik daily.In an interview with mass-circulation daily Trud, Dyankov rejected any speculation that he was being overruled on public spending in Cabinet meetings. "I decide [what goes in the Budget] and all spending that included in the Budget revision are justified and supported by me. Funding, however, will only be allocated in return for reforms. That is what we put down in the revision and we will fight for it."The additional funds would be released in full only if the respective ministries submitted their reform plans by September, Bulgarian media quoted Dyankov as saying. The key areas were pension and health care reform, as well as reducing tobacco-growing subsidies by stimulating the switch to other crops in agriculture and restructuring existing military equipment contracts in the defence sector.Two other ministries where reforms were lagging behind expectations, according to the interview with Trud, were the Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry.

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