More than four billion leva in compensation for Bulgarian business and households has been returned to Bulgaria’s economy since the government took office in December last year, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said on March 23.
This is more than three per cent of Bulgaria’s GDP, Petkov said.
Over the same period, household spending on electricity and heating remained unchanged, despite severe market shocks and related components of energy prices in Europe, he said.
Bulgaria’s proposal for joint EU purchases of natural gas, price cap and reduction of fuel excise duty, which Petkov will put forward at the European Council in Brussels on March 24, will reduce the burden of fuel prices, electricity and gas on Europe’s economies, a government statement said.
It is time for Bulgaria to take the lead in this discussion, because the problem is pan-European and there must be a joint solution, Petkov said.
When the whole EU speaks with one voice, the chance to reduce the price of gas is very high, he said.
“When we reduce the price of gas, we will reduce the price of electricity and this will reduce inflation of all other goods,” Petkov said.
Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov said that compensation due to high electricity prices would continue in April.
The statements came a day after the results of an Alpha Research poll showing Bulgarians holding critical views of Petkov’s government on cost-of-living issues.
The area with the most overwhelming rate of disapproval was the government’s performance on inflation and incomes – with 85.8 per cent seeing it as unsuccessful against just 11.2 per cent who said that the government had been successful.
On energy issues, 77.6 per cent rated the government as unsuccessful, while 19 per cent said that it was successful.
Overall, for its first 100 days in office, the Petkov government received a rating of 3.57 – in school results terms, a grade of “good”, according to Alpha Research.