Friday , August 17 2018
Home / Economistmeg / Bulgarian Election Shows Need to Clean House

Bulgarian Election Shows Need to Clean House

Summary:
Bulgarian Election Shows Need to Clean House It looks as though the center-right Citizens for European Development party won Bulgaria’s early elections, the same party that triggered the vote by resigning from government amid protests in February. So has anything changed? The short answer is yes. The elections show that Bulgarians have lost all faith in a corrupt elite, and the next government — whatever shape it takes — is likely to be weak and unstable. The previous Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, resigned after violent protests around the country. The immediate impetus for this outburst of public anger was high energy prices, but the subtext was disappointment. Bulgaria has been, in many ways, a model of fiscal probity in recent years. The country’s public-debt burden and government deficit are among the lowest in the European Union. Growth has been modest but positive since the shock of 2008-2009. The unemployment rate is almost 12 percent, which compares favorably with most other southern EU countries. At the same time, though, Bulgaria is the poorest EU member state, with an average monthly wage of only 400 euros (9). There is widespread disappointment in the Balkan country that EU membership (Bulgaria joined in 2007) hasn’t noticeably improved living standards.

Topics:
Megan Greene considers the following as important: , , ,

This could be interesting, too:

M. D. writes Ukraine: The struggle for reforms continues

B. T. writes Bulgarians in London: A community of strength, but one hidden in the shadows

B. T. writes How the political capture of state owned enterprises is damaging democracy in Central and Eastern Europe

M. D. writes Ukraine’s oligarchs are bad for democracy and economic reform

Bulgarian Election Shows Need to Clean House

It looks as though the center-right Citizens for European Development party won Bulgaria’s early elections, the same party that triggered the vote by resigning from government amid protests in February. So has anything changed?

The short answer is yes. The elections show that Bulgarians have lost all faith in a corrupt elite, and the next government — whatever shape it takes — is likely to be weak and unstable.

The previous Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, resigned after violent protests around the country. The immediate impetus for this outburst of public anger was high energy prices, but the subtext was disappointment.

Bulgaria has been, in many ways, a model of fiscal probity in recent years. The country’s public-debt burden and government deficit are among the lowest in the European Union. Growth has been modest but positive since the shock of 2008-2009. The unemployment rate is almost 12 percent, which compares favorably with most other southern EU countries.

At the same time, though, Bulgaria is the poorest EU member state, with an average monthly wage of only 400 euros ($519). There is widespread disappointment in the Balkan country that EU membership (Bulgaria joined in 2007) hasn’t noticeably improved living standards. As Ivan Krastev and Georgi Ganev argued on Bloomberg View last month, the austere safety-first economic policies that reassure wealthy Germans have the opposite effect on Bulgarians, for whom lack of change means continued poverty.

To read the rest, please see the original piece on Bloomberg View.

About M. G.
Megan Greene

Biography data hidden due GDPR Data Protection. Author consent pending.
(Economic Blogs is not responsible for linked external content)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *