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The football season in Bulgaria has begun, and with it, a new contract for television rights has entered into force. The contract is for five seasons (until 2026), and the clubs, as announced by the Bulgarian Football Union (BFS) last year, will BGN earn 6.5 million each season. UEFA reports show that about 7% of the income of the First League teams in Bulgaria comes from television rights.

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There is nothing better than a press conference of a minister announcing a new investor who has chosen Bulgaria for their new investment venture. This is also the dream of every mayor, although mayors do not have much to offer to potential investors. Ministers have the arsenal of the State budget at their disposal. Thus, they can use taxpayer money to offer incentives for companies and offer resultant advantages to a selected sector or region.

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At the end of May, the IME wrote that it was high time for a ramp-up of vaccine efforts in Bulgaria. By this, we meant that the vaccination process should be made the first and foremost governmental priority, and that as many tools as possible should be sought and employed to speed up the pace.
The reason was obvious. The country was substantially far behind achieving the set target – vaccinating 70% of the adult population by the end of August.

Fig. 18 Rembrandt van Rijn, Moneychanger, 1627, oil on panel, 32 x 42 cm. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, inv. no. 828D (Bredius 420) (artwork in the public domain)

Just a few weeks ago IME presented the main challenges to social protection faced by Bulgaria in the post-pandemic period. One of the key takeaways was that Bulgarian social policy is unfocused, ineffective and that it flat out fails to address poverty and inequality. While such issues are mainly solved through economic recovery, new jobs and wage growth, the role of social policy should be focused as much as possible on those most in need.

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Bulgaria had its autumn of discontent. The mass protests proclaimed as a crusade against corruption and state capture have failed, while the prospects for reform of the oligarchic model from within are bleak at best. Hence, Bulgarians are looking at a winter of stagnation and political blockage.