Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov was a special guest on the National Television last night.
The Southern Black Sea disaster
“A difficult day for everyone today, after September 5, we must prepare better so that there are no more victims”. Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov stated this to BNT.
He did not want to say who was to blame for the tragedy, he promised to collect information about what and why it happened, and that the blame would be determined by the prosecutor’s office.
“Bridges and riverbeds should be checked so that there are no more such cases. An inspection of all bridges, both from the republican network and municipal facilities, has been ordered. By the end of September, the interdepartmental group must say what needs to be done to prevent similar tragedies from happening again”, Denkov said.
According to him, the response to the disaster was very good, but the question is what can be done preventively.
“The victims of the flood in Tsarevo – the people from the Social Assistance Agency the next day began visiting the affected households, of course the issue is to increase the amounts that are granted”, commented the Prime Minister.
“11 million leva were transferred to the Municipality of Karlovo after the flood there, the question of why the infrastructure was not fixed – the question remains open, I will check, I want to know what the exact situation is”, added Denkov.
War on the roads
He called for no shifting of responsibilities. He commented that he had taken it up as his cause to solve the problem of delayed drug test results so that they could be clear within a week.
“When they start to take measures, voices immediately appear that this cannot be done,” said Denkov.
He also gave an example of the adoption in the National Assembly of confiscating the cars of drivers who are caught driving after using alcohol or drugs.
“There is no way to change the justice system if we do not change the way it is structured, as it is dependent on political forces”, commented the Prime Minister.
Crisis and money
“According to him, the adoption of the 2023 budget changes people’s lives because it is not just about numbers. Every budget, when it is passed and correct as balances, it changes the destinies of the people”, the Prime Minister said.
He denied that the price of electricity was rising. Regarding fuel prices, he commented that the price of oil on world markets is significantly higher compared to the period in which they came to power (his government).
“We have shown that we know how to collect revenues and how to increase incomes, we will do so with Budget 2024. Prices are rising, there is inflation, what is important is that incomes grow faster than inflation”, Denkov said.
“The euro is a stable currency, which leads to lower interest rates than the leva. If we had the euro right now, inflation would be lower and so would interest rates. It is very important to stop living with illusions”, urged the Prime Minister.
“Every day 600-800, on some days up to 1000 attempts to illegally cross the border by migrants are stopped. Very often the rhetoric in Austria and the Netherlands about the non-admission is in their favor for Bulgaria to be in Schengen”, Denkov said.
“There is a risk that we will lose funds under the territorial development and energy transition plans. We are the last chance for these 1.4 billion leva to enter the regions, when we entered as a cabinet it turned out that nothing was done on these plans”, said the Prime Minister.
The tension in the Black Sea
“Bulgaria is preparing its defense along the Black Sea coast due to the entry of Russian warships into our economic zone”. The Prime Minister also suggested that the reason for this entry could be the gas deposits.
“Russia should explain, I haven’t heard an answer so far, why it has put its ships under its control in part of our economic zone. By the way, in this zone are also the gas fields that we would like to develop, is that not a reason for them to be there? What we are going to do – we are part of the NATO forces, we have shown this information, we have received support from NATO and we are preparing our coastal defense accordingly, because in these times no one knows what can happen”.
“Difficult conversations await us with the people who are worried. People need to understand that what we offer them is the best that can be achieved. In 5-10 years, these regions will be the most developed as an economy. These 1.4 billion leva that I mentioned, must come in so that there is no social cost for the people they need to reach. Without these funds, everyone will have to save themselves, which is the worst”, said Nikolai Denkov.
Changes in the Consitution
“These changes have been agreed with the EC and the Venice Commission. Do you expect that these 2 commissions will help to control the judicial system”, asked the prime minister. According to his words, before, the recommendations of the two commissions were always Bulgarianized, and if something like this were to happen now, he would be the first to announce it as unacceptable.
Nikolai Denkov stated that he has no mentors and does not succumb to pressure. He added that in some areas he sees that there could be much better results – the fight against corruption and foreign influence. He was adamant that he was not picking fights with anyone. “The job of a prime minister is to implement the program”, Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov also said.
He defined as constructive the conversation with President Radev during their meeting during the “Match of Hope” at the national stadium, organized by Stiliyan Petrov.