Bulgaria’s New PM Prioritises Schengen and Eurozone Entrance

Nikolay Denkov speaks after taking his oath in parliament in Sofia on Tuesday. Photo: EPA-EFE/VASSIL DONEV

Denkov, a member of We Continue the Change, said that the cabinet will work towards Bulgaria entering the Schengen zone by the end of 2023, systematic changes in border control management, a low state budget deficit and mto reduce easures inflation, as well as starting a "campaign against the disinformation around Bulgaria's adoption of the euro".

Last December, Croatia joined EU's Schengen zone while Bulgaria and Romania's applications were denied due to the resistance from Netherlands and Austria, which were demanding reforms to tackle corruption.

Denkov responded to criticism of the unlikely coalition government, which has mainly come from the president and pro-Kremlin parties.

"There is nothing more natural than the Bulgarian parliament electing a regular government to take on its constitutional duties. I am really surprised that this is a problem for some parties - maybe it's all part of their propaganda, but that also goes for some institutions such as the presidency," he said.

From the beginning of their negotiations, both We Continue the Change and GERB did not offer their party leaders (Kiril Petkov and Boyko Borissov) as potential prime ministers in order to demonstrate willingness for a dialogue.

Tense talks after the April 2 elections led to an experimental 18-month governing format in which first nine months will be under the rule of We Continue the Change/Democratic Bulgaria, headed by Denkov, and the second nine months by GERB/United Democratic Forces, with Denkov resigning and Mariya Gabriel stepping in as prime minister.

Sixty-year old Denkov was deputy education minister from 2014-2016, and caretaker...

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