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Bulgaria 'closer' to forming new government

Bulgaria 'closer' to forming new government
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Bulgaria inched closer towards getting a new government on Tuesday, nearly a month after an inconclusive parliamentary election, after the biggest party, the centre-right GERB, made headway in coalition talks with a small pro-market group.

Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest member state, urgently needs to tackle a bank crisis and an almost stagnant economy, but a messy result in the October 5 election has hobbled GERB leader Boiko Borisov’s efforts to form a stable government.

After reaching a preliminary accord with the economically liberal Reformist Bloc, GERB said it would hold talks with two other smaller parties on Wednesday, the ABV of Bulgaria’s former Socialist president Georgi Parvanov and the nationalist Patriotic Front, in hopes of securing a parliamentary majority.

“We specified the composition and structure of the cabinet we are preparing,” GERB’s chief negotiator Rumyana Bachvarova told reporters after talks with the Reformist Bloc, adding “decisions would be made through a consensus.”

But analysts said serious doubts would remain over how long such a coalition government would hold together in the face of the Balkan country’s daunting economic and social problems.

Bulgaria has been dogged by instability since the start of 2013 when protests over high electricity prices and low living standards toppled the previous GERB government led by Borisov.