Bulgaria's Biggest Parties Clash over EU Funds

Outgoing cabinet ministers, L to R: Temenuzhka Petkova (energy), Ivelina Vasileva (environment), Lilyana Pavlova (regional development). Photo: GIS

Ministers from the biggest party in Bulgaria's outgoing government lashed out at the leading opposition force on Monday after the latter alleged the European Commission planned to freeze millions worth of funding allocated to the country.

Their comments followed an official announcement from EU Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Cretu, who used Twitter to downplay the socialist opposition's claims.


No decision taken/planned re #erdf & #cohesion funds in #Bulgaria. Implementation in Bulgaria is running according to plans.

— Corina Creţu (@CorinaCretuEU) January 21, 2017

At an emergency briefing of the cabinet, three outgoing ministers - of regional development, energy, and environment - reiterated that Bulgaria ranks as one of the most successful countries by absorption of funding.

Bulgaria has been made fun of three times as the EU Commission has refuted the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP)'s claims of problems with absorption, Regional Development Minister in resignation Lilyana Pavlova is quoted as saying in a press statement.

All three ministers gave accounts on transactions recently made by their institutions and other developments, including payments to foreign-owned thermal power plants and energy consumption during the winter.

Outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borisov also slammed BSP lawmakers, arguing they seek to "prepare the society" for a scenario of EU funding being frozen if they form a government after the snap election.

"The European Commission has said outright there is no stoppage of funding... from now they are preparing public opinion [to think] that if this happens, it will be our fault."

Since Borisov's government resigned in November,...

Continue reading on: