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Ilhan Kyuchyuk: Rosenets’ action is a pathetic attempt to win dividends for a marginal party

EP Plenary session - Presentation of the programme of activities of the Croatian Presidency

They want to get on the “MRF boat” to sneak into the next parliament

* Already in 2017, we warned that there would be a political, parliamentary and constitutional crisis if the opposition between the institutions continued.

* Our country can benefit from funds up to 29 billion euro, but they are bound by a number of terms, the MEP from MRF says in an interview for the Monitor.

Monitor: Mr. Kyuchyuk , after prolonged negotiations in Brussels, our country will receive nearly 29 billion euro for the next 7 years. Could we have negotiated more?

Kyuchyuk: First of all, we need to make a very clear clarification about those nearly 29 billion euro which is speculated. The amount is indicative and does not mean that we will get it. The Council’s conclusions are that our country can take advantage from funds up to 29 billion euro but they are bound by a number of conditionalities. Such as: project priorities, implementation of reforms (European Semester), rule of law, etc. The question is not whether we could have negotiated more, because this is calculated by formula for all countries, but how we will change our economy. I would like to see these money as opportunity, not as a gift.

Monitor: What areas should the funds be targeted as a matter of priority?

Kyuchyuk: The Council’s view is that 30% of the total expenditure on the EU’s long-term budget and the COVID-19 crisis recovery fund Next Generation EU should be directed to climate-related projects and green recovery measures. The new multiannual financial framework  aims to ensure stability but also transformations to future-oriented policies to ensure Europe’s digital transition into a rapidly evolving technology world. Or, in other words, the debate is far from confined to “we will give you some money to spend”. The Bulgarian government should start soon with the development of our priorities, to meet these objectives,  if we want to get funding.

Monitor: What is the cost of the deal and the equalisation of the ratio of grants and loans in the EU recovery plan from the pandemic, which so many have insisted on from the so-called “frugal four”?

Kyuchyuk: The past European Council has been of historic importance. The heads of government of the 27 Member States have managed to resolve a serious political and economic issue which is in interest of  European citizens. For the first time, the EU will mobilise a powerful financial instrument of €750 billion for economic recovery, with funds coming from capital markets and having its own resources. This political compromise was difficult to negotiate because we needed 5 days to reach consensus about it, but imagine what the outcome for Europe would have been if a deal had not been reached? Of course, each country made its compromises to this ambitious budget. It is essential for our Renew Europe political group in the EP that these funds are spent in strict compliance with high democratic standards and the rule of law in the member states.

Monitor: When this is about to be approved by the EP, and in fact the amount is the maximum, is there an option for the EP to make changes and get less?

Kyuchyuk: The European Parliament is ready to start constructive negotiations immediately to improve the proposal. This intention was also expressed by us in the resolution we voted on in the extraordinary plenary session. After all, this Council`s proposal for a multiannual financial framework is less than what the EP insisted on. We see, for example, a controversial proposal for cuts from health and research programs right in the context of a global pandemic. Or a proposal for significant cuts from 44 billion to 10 billion euro for program supporting the transition of carbon-dependent regions, which is incompatible with the EU Green Deal program.

Monitor: What is your reading of the political situation in the country in the face of protests and a failed vote of no confidence?

Kyuchyuk: Bulgarian citizens continue to face uncertainty in their daily lives. Our country needs accelerated economic development based on clear priorities. That is why MRF proposes a program around which all valuable political forces can be united. And this is neither a desire for power, nor all to rule, and for the people to be in opposition. And the only way out of the severe economic and social crisis, with a clear horizon for the future.

Monitor: MRF supported the vote of no confidence, but what was necessary to get through the National Assembly anyway?

Kyuchyuk: MRF supported the vote of no confidence against the government, as it has done in all previous cases of this parliament. Our position is firm and it is strongly supported by our international liberal partners since the formation of the current cabinet. For us, this coalition is unacceptable because there are nationalist elements. Moreover, it has proved its inability to reform public systems. Of course, not every vote of no confidence leads to cabinet resignation, that’s what we’ve seen before.

Monitor: There’s a lot of criticism that the protests are divisive, with a lot of vague demands, do you see any external interference?

Kyuchyuk: I don’t want to believe that outside forces are setting the pulse of civil society in this country.

What’s provoking the government protests right now? And are the consequences of the pandemic the causes of the outbreak?

Kyuchyuk: There is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis poses great challenges to the world. Member states need to adopt urgent measures to protect citizens’ health and prevent economic collapse. This requires unprecedented effort and an innovative approach. In Bulgaria, unfortunately, such an approach is lacking. Already in 2017, MRF warned that there would be a political, parliamentary and constitutional crisis if the opposition between the institutions continued.

Monitor: Is there any resource for this National Assembly to produce a new majority?

Kyuchyuk: No. We don’t see such option.

Monitor: After several actions in a row of  Rosenets – first the landing, then the protest – and days ago the picnic attempt, how do you explain already from the distance of time these actions of Hristo Ivanov? Why now?

Kyuchyuk: The goal, of course, was not to set foot on the beach, but to provoke. Not for anything else, but because elections are being set and they want to get on the “MFR boat” and thus sneak into the next Parliament. I define all this as a pathetic attempt to earn political dividends for a marginal party.

Monitor: Do you think there could be a worsening and deepening of the economic crisis in the autumn?

Kyuchyuk: These are the forecasts of all analysts and leading institutes. We still don’t know what the depth of the crisis will be. We need an exit plan that is based on a clear development horizon.

Тази публикация е достъпна и на следните езици: Bulgarian