Bulgaria's construction sector has lost up to 100 million levs ($56 million/51 million euro) since March 13 when the country declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, local media reported quoting industry officials.
"The worst thing is that the construction workers cannot work from home. This means that we must continue our work while taking into account all the measures prescribed by the government so that we do not have to rely on it to cover our expenses for salaries, " Iliyan Terziev, head of the Bulgarian Construction Chamber (BCC), said in a video file published on the website of local TV station NOVA earlier this week.
The chamber has already asked the government for a set of anti-crisis measures for the sector aimed at ensuring that payments from contracting authorities are made on time, Terziev said.
According to BCC's head, local construction companies are due some 250 million levs in delayed payments since March 13.
BCC insists that public procurement procedures continue as usual so that construction works can begin once the pandemic is over, Terziev said, adding that between 2,500 and 3,000 companies in the sector rely on these orders for their operations. In his view, bank loans can provide only a temporary solution to crisis-hit companies.