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Bulgarian Premier Oresharski Survives Fifth No-Confidence Vote

Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski’s minority cabinet survived a no-confidence vote over its financial policy, the fifth such challenge he beat since coming to power a year ago.

Lawmakers rejected the motion in a 114-109 vote with one abstention in the 240-seat assembly, Parliament Speaker Mihail Mikov said today. The opposition Gerb party, led by former Premier Boyko Borissov, is pushing for early elections after winning the May 25 vote for the European Parliament. The ruling Socialists are also preparing for an early vote and are discussing with other parties on setting a date.

“The opposition’s no-confidence motion attacks the policies in which they failed,” Oresharski told lawmakers in the capital Sofia today. “While they were in power, they squandered the reserve and now we have to sell new debt to repay the debts of the previous governments. Their apocalyptic forecasts are completely ungrounded.”

Oresharski’s Socialist government came to power a year ago after anti-austerity protests forced out Borissov, triggering early elections. The fiscal reserve increased to 6 billion lev ($4.17 billion) at the end of May from 4 billion lev in May 2013, when Oresharski took office, Finance Minister Petar Chobanov said on June 11. Parliament approved a 1.5 billion-euro ($2 billion) Eurobond sale on June 6 to repay international and domestic debts.

Bulgaria’s “2014 deficit target has been appropriately maintained at 1.8 percent of GDP, which keeps the deficit within the legal limit and supports policy credibility,” the International Monetary Fund said in an e-mailed statement today. “Risks to budgeted government revenues this year remain significant, particularly in light of deflation.”

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