Bulgaria is facing a serious rise in inflation, which in 2022 could double, depending on how the government reacts – warned financial expert and former MP from “There Is Such a People” Mika Zaykova.
“Inflation is a bigger threat than a pandemic. It is not a temporary phenomenon. Although some colleagues think that things will calm down in the next few months, unfortunately, it will not happen because the economy of both the EU and the world is energy. Bulgaria has additional problems – the state of district heating and the moratorium on prices. It does not solve problems, it only postpones them,” Zaykova told Nova TV.
According to her, however, Bulgaria is favored because the external supply of energy sources is about 13%. But a green deal is ahead. 60% of energy is nuclear energy, which the EU refuses to accept as clean energy. Furthermore, Bulgaria is the third “coal” country in the EU.
According to the social expert and former Minister of Social Affairs Ivan Neykov, inflation will be higher in the first three months of the new year, and then we expect a decline.
“Part of the problem is that we had forgotten just inflation. I do not think it’s the worst problem in the social sphere. Already there is a decrease in oil prices because of reduced consumption. I think after the first quarter of the new year inflation will go down. The social sphere does not generate inflation. It must create tools to help people. It is important to decide who and how to help,” he explained.
According to him, the big challenge for the new Ministry of Social Affairs is how to adjust the tools that will help the really needy. “Now the mantra continues that if you are retired, you are poor, which is not the case. The cycle of energy support needs to be reconsidered”, Ivan Neykov believes.
However, Mika Zaykova reminded that there are really poor pensioners in Bulgaria, but there are also working poor – incomes lag behind the cost of living, and this is a very serious challenge. Bulgaria is the only country in the EU whose minimum wage is below 400 euros. Therefore, there must be a balance between income and what is happening in the economy. Zaikova was adamant that the issue of taxation of the minimum wage must be resolved.
“I don’t know how long it will take for us to understand that the minimum wage should be determined not by the will of a minister, but by principles. When you adopt a principle, the rules are determined,” Neykov said.
“The moratorium on the price of electricity may have only one meaning – to gain time to find a solution”, said Neykov. According to the two experts, there is an over-expectation of the government, even though it has been going on for several days.