Archive for December 10, 2010


December 10, 2010 1 comment

Bulgaria’s Parliamentary Ethical Commission has not been able to take up the case with the 16 Bulgarian MPs who shamefully skipped work last week to “receive” luxurious cell phones.

Parliamentary Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva from the ruling centrist GERB, who already condemned the MPs’ behavior, arrived in the Bulgarian Parliament especially to participate in the discussion. However – only one of the jokingly labeled by the media “New Cell Phone Lovers’ Parliamentary Group” – Rumen Takorov from the leftist opposition party BSP – appeared before the commission.

The 8 GERB MPs, who were involved in the scandal, have sent a letter citing their declaration on Wednesday, in which they apologized to all their voters and declared they will donate half of their salary for December for charity.

Tsetska Tsacheva was disappointed with the MPs’ absence and pointed out that she has prepared a new set of ethical rules for the members of the Bulgarian Parliament, which she would have presented before the commission, should the MPs had gathered.

The Ethical Commission does not possess any legislative basis on which to discuss the MPs’ behavior in this case, according to several representatives of different Parliamentary Groups.

The joint operation between the private channel bTV and the “168 Chasa” (168 Hours) weekly consisted of offering luxurious cell phones, worth over BGN 6000 to 42 Bulgarian MPs. An expensive party was “organized” at a hotel in downtown Sofia where the phones were supposed to be handed out to them.

The party coincided with a Parliamentary session. Sixteen of the invited MPs skipped work to get hold of the “gifts” despite the fact the ethics code bans them from accepting gifts worth over BGN 200.

The MPs did not realize they were being tricked, even though the invitations were signed by a company named Klaus Barbie, who is a notorious Gestapo member and war criminal, known as the Butcher of Lyon.



Bulgaria’s economy registered slightly better results in the third quarter of 2010 that the initial data sets of the National Statistical Institute (NSI) indicated last month.

Thus, final NSI data showed on Thursday that in the third quarter Bulgaria’s GDP grew by 0.7% compared with the second quarter, and by 0.5% compared with the same quarter of 2009. (The initial forecasts were for 0.3% and 0.2% respectively.)

In July-September 2010, Bulgaria’s GDP amounted to BGN 19.4 B (BGN 2 581.2 per capita) estimated in current prices, or EUR 9.921 B (EUR 1 319.8 per capita). Calculated in US dollars based on an average exchange rate of USD 1 = BGN 1.516360 in the third quarter, the figure is USD 12.8 B (USD 1 702.3 per capita).

In comparison, in the third quarter of 2009, Bulgaria’s GDP amounted to BGN 18,056 B (EUR 9.232 B).

In the first nine months of 2010, Bulgaria’s GDP amounted to BGN 50.664 B. In comparison, in the first nine months of 2009 Bulgaria’s GDP amounted to BGN 48.339 B – or EUR 24.715 B (fixed exchange rate of EUR 1 = BGN 1.95583) – or USD 33.723 B (at an exchange rate of USD 1 = BGN 1.433396).

The added value generated by the Bulgarian economy in the third quarter of 2010 amounted to BGN 16.480 B in current prices. The total added value of the goods and services that Bulgaria produced in the same period of 2009 was BGN 15.2 B.

The industrial sector’s share in the added value, however, is down by 1.7 percentage points, to 29.4%. The share of the services is 60.1%, up by 0.5 percentage pints, and the share of agriculture is BGN 10.5%, up by 1.2 percentage points.

In the third quarter of 2010, the added value of the Bulgarian economy is down by 0.4% compared with the second quarter.

Bulgaria’s export grew by 8.9% in the third quarter compared with the previous three-month period, while the domestic demand declined by 2.7%. The import of goods and services declined by 1.3% quarter-on-quarter.

Compared with the third quarter of 2009, the added value of the Bulgarian economy remains the same. However, the added value share of the agriculture sector grew by 3%, while that of industry declined by 1.3%, and of services – by 1.4%.

Bulgaria’s export grew by 18.5% while the import dropped by 3% in the third quarter of 2010 year-on-year. The collective demand, however, is down by 7.8%, while individual demand dropped by 5.9%.