VLADISLAV GORANOV: WE WILL WORK TOWARDS ADAPTING THE JUNCKER INVESTMENT PLAN TO THE SPECIFICITIES OF THE BULGARIAN BUSINESS
"Where is the problem the Juncker Plan and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to be an abstract notion for Bulgarian businesses - this is the main topic for discussion in our country" according to Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov, which he commented upon before the participants in the conference on "Results and good practices from the implementation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)" organised by Iskra Mihaylova, Chairperson of the Committee on Regional Development at the European Parliament, together with the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria. The Minister explained that Bulgaria was a small economy and the projects proposed by Bulgarian businesses for funding by the Fund were also small; in addition the "design" of the Fund could not automatically coincide with the needs of each country. "In the coming months, I want, as a representative of the government, together with the colleagues from the Fund and the EIB to deepen the work towards accelerating and adapting their policy to the projects that our businesses is able to propose and is already proposing", Goranov added, saying that our country had made a lot of steps in the right direction - eight financial intermediaries in Bulgaria had already concluded contracts with the EIB for financing of small and medium-sized enterprises. Minister Goranov reminded that a Memorandum of Understanding between Bulgaria and the EIB had been signed in December 2016, establishing an advisory platform in Bulgaria under the Juncker Plan which was structured at the moment with the participation of the Bank.
The resources for the announced increase in teachers' salaries by 15% from 1 September will come from the state budget, the Finance Minister said to journalists at a briefing. "This increase might also exceed the announced 15% for this year, but analyses are still ongoing", he explained. In addition, Minister Goranov again emphasised that the government wanted differentiated approaches related to the setting out of the objectives for better and quality education and for keeping children in school to be applied from the very beginning of the implementation of the policy of wage increase in secondary education. Teachers' salaries will be increased each year but for the time being there is clarity only as regards the percentage increase for this year, Goranov said.
The money for the increase in the minimum contributory-service and retirement-age pension in the current year will be ensured from the overperformance of contributions revenues to the PSS budget and for this reason there will be no need to update the state budget, the Finance Minister pointed out. If additional funds are needed, these will come from savings on expenditures as well as from transfers under the central budget. Vladislav Goranov commented before the media that the energy support system would be adapted to the new levels of the minimum pension so that the persons actually in need not to be dropped out of it.