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.
The protests in Bulgaria have been going for almost two months now. As the government has failed to provide a meaningful alternative that could satisfy the demands of the demonstrators and thus solve the ongoing political crisis, let us examine the root causes that have driven it.
The wording of the drafted law does not provide sufficient guarantees for the exclusive application of the reduced rate for the declared taxable product supplies only. The proposal was made without an in-depth analysis by the National Revenue Agency.
The European Commission has announced its proposal for a recovery plan with a total budget of 750 billion euros, called Next Generation EU. It is based on the new Instrument for Recovery and Sustainability, with a proposed resource of EUR 560 billion.
During the late 1990s and most part of the 2000s, CEE countries reformed their tax systems with two key characteristics: reducing the relative burden of direct taxes and – probably more distinctly, at least for the rest of the developed economies – introduction of single personal income tax rates.
The current state of the Bulgarian judiciary facilitates a poor accountability of the Prosecutor General, who is essentially immune to criminal prosecution and practically cannot be suspended and dismissed from office.
During the transition towards liberal democracy and a market economy, some countries from the former Eastern Bloc managed to successfully mimic the model that had already been proven to be successful in the West – a multiparty democratic system, combined with mostly free market capitalism.
Over the past 10 years, the Bulgarian economy has changed dramatically. The manufacturing sector is gradually shifting towards higher value added production. The number of employed in traditional industries, for instance the clothing industry and furniture manufacturing, has dropped significantly.
French President Emanuel Macron addressed the citizens of the EU is a special letter, entitled “For European renewal”, published simultaneously in select media in all member states. This move by Macron is not surprising.