Bulgaria’s in-coming Prime Minister Boiko Borisov has named a cabinet of relative newcomers to politics at a time when Sofia is under serious EU pressure to stamp out corruption.
Borisov, a former bodyguard, won the July 5th election with promises to take politicians, magistrates and crime bosses to task, and prevent a prolonged recession in the EU’s poorest and most corrupt state. Mending relations with Europe will be top of the agenda. In an report published on Wednesday, the EU listed a number of problems that need urgent attention, citing inadequate measures to combat money-laundering, vote-rigging, fraud and murder linked to criminal gangs. The situation is so serious that the Commission has frozen some 500 million euros, from a pool of subsidy money intended to help Bulgaria make the necessary economic and infrastructure reforms. The bloc threatened further financial sanctions if things do not improve.