Банкеръ Weekly



There is no repose for the Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev. While he is doing his best to make his subordinates work and the country join the European Union, some people from all kinds of political parties and religions have their eyes fixed on his chair. It seems they want to persuade the people two questions: Is Sergey Stanishev suitable for a prime minister at all? And, being one, is he going to do something or like his predecessor from the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), Zhan Videnov, he would be the last one to realize his failure? Last Wednesday, for example, Stanishev defined the comments on changes in the Government as speculations and said they were not on the agenda. Thus he almost answered the second question...

Comments have been circulating in public for two weeks about who would be most suitable for the post of the prime minister. Is it Boyko Borissov or Petar Stoyanov? It was even mentioned that the strong post in the state was quite suitable for the President, Georgi Parvanov. He did not want a second mandate as a head of the state, people commented, but he wanted to put his party and therefore the state in order. Parvanov would take part in the president elections seemingly, then return to BSP (which in fact he never left) and become the head of a repaired government, rumours circulated on 20 Positano street.
Leave these crazy dreams to the old socialists who have so much leisure time, political observers recommend. It seems more curious that
the civil general and non-party mayor
Boyko Borissov uttered a word about elections before schedule. He did it just a week ago in Varna while he was establishing another body of the GERB movement. Before going to the football ground, the general promised to kick the MPs out of Parliament and put the right people there, because the three-partite coalition was fatal for the country. A discovery which made the commentators immediately compare Boyko Borissov with Ivan Kostov and Volen Siderov. However, the mayor did not specify when or how the earlier voting would be organized. Therefore, his colleagues, politicians with parties and posts, immediately opposed that this was unlikely to happen at least now. Still, the opposition gripped the mayor's words and showed they were willing to support him. Right leaders started talking with hope that the Government was failing and might not complete its mandate. Right-wing analysts claim there is already
a revolutionary situation
but there would be no revolution at least by late autumn. They see signs for an earlier voting in the fact that the National Movement Simeon II (NMSII) feels ever more uncomfortable in the coalition. And also in the fact that there is disintegration among the political partners in it and separately, between the voters and the three parties. And not least - because of the loss of positions by President Georgi Parvanov and the unrest in BSP.
There is an outcome of the situation through a caretaker cabinet, not centre-left but a right expert one, voices come mainly from the United Democratic Forces and the circle around Stefan Sofiyanski. What is more, members of the Union of Democratic Forces admitted ten days ago that they saw their leader, Petar Stoyanov, as a prime minister. It would be needless to explain that this thesis provokes nervous laughter among the left and the centre representatives. However, to what extent the premier's post is suitable for Boyko Borissov is a question that seems to cause much more nervousness... We've already seen this happen, politicians and commentators say, reminding how Sofia's mayor Stefan Sofiyanski was a prime minister in a caretaker cabinet for a few months in 1997 (when Nikolay Dobrev returned the mandate of BSP to the president Petar Stoyanov). If a re-make is possible, then both BSP and the President Parvanov
are in deep trouble
observers comment. The consultations for changes in the cabinet within the council of the coalition intensified in the last week. Two ministers should leave together because of the report made by Olli Rehn and the critics toward Bulgaria for the incomplete reforms in the judicial system, the group of Democrats for Strong Bulgaria asked last Wednesday after a hint from an INTERNET media. However, even if the coalition partners discuss such things among themselves, they will not come true at least in the coming months.
The Minister of Interior, Roumen Petkov, and the Minister of Justice, Georgi Petkanov, may lose their posts in the name of Europe, the parliamentary majority and, of course, of keeping Simeon's presence in the coalition. Of the three ministers from the Movement for Rights and Freedom Emel Etem will certainly not be replaced, although it is possible that her department be renamed due to structural reforms. If Roumen Petkov survives due to his good relations with the President, Radoslav Gaydarski may be the replaced minister from BSP. However, this will not satisfy the NMSII members who approve his work since most of their ideas about people's health are included in the national health strategy.
Considering the unrest in BSP because of the US bases, the red party leaders are promoting the idea to appoint the revolting Kostadin Paskalev a minister hoping that
he would calm down
For that purpose, however, either Assen Gagaouzov or Peter Mutafchiev should vacate their posts. It's another question that nobody from the BSP leaders ventures to predict Mr. Paskalev's reaction in case of such an offer. There is little probability for changes in the mega ministry of Roumen Ovcharov of for replacing him, MPs say. The Minister of European Affairs Meglena Kouneva will hardly part with her post either. However, the NMSII would not refuse the a social minister position, people in the know commented to the BANKER weekly.
Ahmed Dogan might be persuaded to replace Nihat Kabil and Dzhevdet Chakurov, but will not give up the Ministry of Agriculture or the Ministry of Environment and Water. So, the bargaining about castlings in the Cabinet have come
to a deadlock
and will remain so for at least one more month. There could be changes in the autumn at the earliest if there are any at all, MPs from the tripartite coalition believe. Thus, they confirmed what the BANKER wrote a month ago.

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