PM Borissov comments on election date and pandemic

No expert can say that the pandemic will be over in March, said Prime Minister Boyko Borissov in response to comments on the voting date. He made a surprise appearance at the regular briefing of the National Operative Staff in order to respond to criticism expressed by President Rumen Radev. The measures we employ are the mildest and most sparing for the people's psychological wellbeing, Borissov stated, praising the Staff, and defining it as the most competent.

The prime minister clarified that it is the president who sets the election date. “As of 7 December 2020, we had 7,000 people in hospitals. Today there are 4,262. Who dictates to the president the election date, once public opinion polls have been conducted,” Borissov said, recalling that according to these polls, GERB is the first political force. He reminded that Radev had mentioned twice the date 28 March, explaining that everyone should prepare for that time.

“It is underhanded to be requiring from the medics to make a forecast,” Borissov said. A corridor for fast vaccination must be established for GPs, and those medics who will do the vaccinations are to receive higher remuneration, Borissov ordered.

“After the president has said the date to be 28 March, calling us for consultations is just meant for washing his hands,” the prime minister said, explaining that Bulgaria would use the foreign experience and protocols, especially those of the countries which have recently conducted their elections.

Borissov also commented on another cannonade of groundless insinuations made by the president. “I was condemned of a partnership connection with Delyan Peevski, which is nothing but gossip. When they get desperate, they take this gossip out of the closet,” Borissov said. “MRF is a party that has an honorary chairman and a chairman. The ethnic card is something that no one should play with, especially with MRF and Erdogan together,” he said, asking everyone to be more careful in choosing their expressions.

The prime minister reminded that he started winning elections on his own and that the Bulgarian people trusted him. We are pursuing the best possible policy with our biggest neighbour, Borissov said about Turkey. In his words, our trade turnover exceeds BGN one billion, and he himself insisted at every European Council meeting that the EU-Turkey migration agreement should be observed for Greece as well.

“Therefore, the president of another country to be involved in a local neighbourhood dispute … I can also say to President Radev that he is a partner with Vasil Bozhkov. What do I have in common with Peevski,” Borissov said. He reminded that the MRF had supported the cabinet several times - for the European integration, for the purchase of F-16 fighter jets and for the Istanbul Convention. “I haven't seen Peevski for years,” Borissov stressed, suspecting that this gossip was due to the protests' calming down, as some people had no ideas and wondered whom to criticise. The lie became immediately apparent, Borissov underlined, pointing out that Bulgaria has the lowest debt and deficit, stable fiscal reserves despite the pandemic, and has also achieved diversification of its natural gas supplies.

According to him, the Balkan Stream gas pipeline suits all countries in the region. Bulgaria is back on the natural gas map, Borissov assured.

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