Tags: bulgaria | socialist-led | minority | cabinet

Bulgarian Parliament Approves Socialist-Led Minority Cabinet

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 11:40 AM

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Bulgarian lawmakers approved the Socialist-led minority coalition Cabinet of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski Wednesday, ending months of political uncertainty.

Lawmakers in the 240-seat assembly voted 120 to 97 lawmakers to back the Socialists’ coalition with the ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms.

Oresharski, 53, is a former finance minister and university professor. Zinaida Zlatanova, who led the European Union delegation in Sofia, will be his deputy prime minister, taking charge of justice, internal order and EU funds.

The EU’s poorest nation is struggling to emerge from political turmoil that started with anti-austerity protests that forced out the previous government in February and led to a snap election on May 12.

Bulgaria’s new leader will need to balance between budget cuts to keep finances stable and demands for higher wages and lower energy costs.

Petar Chobanov, a professor who was a chairman of the financial regulator, was named finance minister, while Dragomir Stoynev, an alumnus of Sorbonne University in Paris and a former adviser of Socialist leader Sergei Stanishev, was picked to be minister of energy and economy. Kristian Vigenin, a European Parliament member, will lead the Foreign Ministry.

The government will review potential energy-price cuts and start a healthcare overhaul, Oresharski said.

His plan also includes reimbursing about 350 million lev ($231 million) of value-added taxes to companies and repaying about 100 million lev for completed public orders to businesses.

Increasing social benefits for the poor and families with young children, which will require a total of 7 million lev, is also part of the plan.

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Bulgarian lawmakers approved the Socialist-led minority coalition Cabinet of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski Wednesday, ending months of political uncertainty.
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2013-40-29
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 11:40 AM
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