Bulgarian President 'Reluctantly' Signs Budget 2011

Bulgarian President 'Reluctantly' Signs Budget 2011

Bulgaria's President, Georgi Parvanov, signed Tuesday the decree to officially publish the 2011 State budget, the presidential press office announced.

Parvanov's main motive is the need for the country to have an approved budget for next year, especially in the light of the economic crisis, but he voices several strong remarks for the content and the policies included in the budget.

They are:

Uncertain and overly optimistic macro-economic frame with too optimistic forecast for Gross Domestic Product growth that could lead to problems in the financing of different sectors.

Lack of buffers to counter possible changes in the macro-economic environment.

Sharp increase of the State debt; hidden increase of the tax burden.

Faulty priorities leading to incorrect distribution of funding among different sectors.

Lack of clear policies on the main stimuli of economic growth - local and foreign investments, support of local consumption.

Freezing of income for a second year in a row leading to impoverishment of the nation.

Lack of planned reforms in the health care, higher education, social, and administrative sectors.

Parvanov says he is also alarmed by the fact that by the end of 2010 all resources of the National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK), currently deposited at the Central Bank, will be transferred to the central budget thus the health insurance money of citizens in the so-called large NZOK reserve (about BGN 1.4 B) can now be used for other public expenses, if needed, in violation of the health insurance principles in Bulgaria.

On Wednesday, the President will take part in a public discussion focusing on the "Election Code" changes, organized by his own civic movement Alternative for Bulgarian Renaissance (ABV - abbreviation standing for the first three letters of the Bulgarian alphabet) with participants from the local and legislative power, different political parties and NGO experts.

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