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Ruling Party Turned Bulgaria into Europe's Fraudster

Date: 27.06.2010

Bulgaria's opposition Socialist Party has harshly criticized the center-right government for triggering allegations that a new Greek-style budgetary fraud is possibly looming in the country.

“For the past one year since the new government came into office Bulgaria has gained the reputation of a fraudster, which lies to Europe about its statistics and needs to be monitored,” Rumen Ovcharov, head of the Socialists' unit in the capital Sofia, said at the party conference on Sunday.

“This is a state where deficits are rampant, a state, which kills the business with its own hands, a state, which has successfully destabilized its pension and health systems,” he said.

In his words the populist policy of the government, its police state tactics and racketeering practices drive foreign investors away.

“The only conclusion that we can make is that the way GERB rules is a catastrophe,” he stressed.

The statement comes three weeks after European Union Economy Commissioner Olli Rehn expressed concerns over Bulgaria's statistical performance and said a mission with audit powers will be sent to Sofia.

The finance minister has repeatedly said, that the mission is no surprise and cause for concern, since the government had informed the European Commission of the upward revision in the budget deficit as early as in April.

At the end of April Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov said the previous Socialist-led government had kept them in the dark over BGN 2.16 B contracts, which pushed the 2009 deficit up from a projected 1.9% to 3.7% of GDP

A few days alter, in the first of its twice-yearly reviews of government finances in the 27-member bloc, Eurostat said the Bulgarian government's budget deficit was 3.9% of gross domestic product last year.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of the country's former Socialist-led administration, saying the government has lied to the EU colleagues about the country's readiness for the euro zone, being unaware of this trap.

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