Finance Minister Oresharski: Society Is on Verge of Choice

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Bulgaria has to make a choice, it has to either succumb to the pressure to increase incomes of
employees from different sectors or to go on following the financial policy, which had guaranteed its stability in the last ten years, Finance Minister Plamen Oresharski told private national Darik Radio on Saturday.

Oresharski made again this statement in the height of the effective strike of teachers who demand a 100 per cent increase of wages. Employees from the forestry and social sectors also demand higher pay.

"The society is on the verge of a choice: whether we should continue policies, which had led to success in the last 10 years, policies of restraint of public expenditures and an income policy, which does not deteriorate strongly the competition of Bulgarian economy - this is the one alternative.

The other alternative is [Е.] to succumb to our desire to become slightly richer. This is not going to work. Please believe me, I know what is going to happen in the next one or two years, we have seen this scenario," Oresharski said. According to him, Bulgaria is on the brink to repeat the events in Hungary a few years ago.

The Finance Minister underlined several times his concern that the Bulgarian society is gradually going out the boundaries of reasonable policies. "I see this as a very serious danger for a change in the economic policy, for a change of the foundations of stability laid in 1997 [when socialist government of Zhan Videnov had to step down under the pressure of social protests] and return to mechanisms for reaching nominal wages and prices.

We all are getting poorer in such a case. We have seen it. Why should we see it again? In teachers' language - why should we repeat the class?", Oresharski added.

He also used a metaphor that Bulgaria is on the edge of a precipice. "if we allow a sharp increase of revenues in the public sector, the precipice will be at a distance of 6 moths to a year, I state this firmly" Oresharski also said. As long as Bulgaria carries out a reasonable policy regarding the exchequer and the income policy, "we shall maintain economic growth and positive tendencies in economy and in the next years we will be able to distribute the growth, the results of our efforts of previous years", Oresharski concluded.

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