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Minimum salary in Bulgaria becomes 200 Levs

Date: 24.12.2005

- Mrs. Maslarova, the end of each year is the time for a balance. Which are the things you managed to do and what did you foil to complete in 2005?

- I have never expected that my work will go on wheels. The essence of each work is to give you satisfaction, on the one hand, and to make the rest happy and pleased, on the other hand. I feel like a person who have received a lot of credit in advance and who is expected to justify it. I am not happy with the fact that we foiled to keep all our promises on the spot. I wanted and insisted to increase the pensions in Bulgaria by 10%, but not by 5% only. I wished that the salaries were raised by 10%-14%.
- What hampered this to happen?

- We failed to realize our intents for a variety of reasons, which I don't want to discuss. But I want to say something, which still remains, somehow, unheard. We wanted a 20%-hike of the salaries in the budget sector. The truth is that they will be increased by 6% as the rise may reach 10% at the optimization of the structure. But from January, 1, 2006, the tax free minimum will go up with 50 levs a month (1euro=1.95levs). This is a kind of a gesture to all working Bulgarians, but not only to those, employed in the state administration. If we combine this with the increase of the minimum salary and with the reduction of the insurance burden by 6%, we shall get a real increase of over 17% for all employed.

- You declared that you were going to find a mechanism to increase the salaries in the private sector. How is this going to happen?

- We have already formed working teams, which are preparing the changes. The official verge of poverty will become clear by March, 2006. And we shall then work out a frame to negotiate the minimum salary. I have always insisted on a much higher minimum salary and I will urge that it becomes over 200 levs. Thus, making labour attractive. Those, who have got used to receiving social support, will see and feel the difference between earned incomes and granted aid.

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