Bulgarian Premier Faces No-Confidence Vote Over Health Care

  • Motion is backed by 69 lawmakers in the 240-member parliament
  • Boyko Borissov's government seeks to cut health care spending

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov will face the first no-confidence vote of his second stint as head of government over planned health-care policies in the European Union’s poorest country.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party, led by former Parliament Speaker Mihail Mikov, and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, representing the ethnic Turks, introduced the motion to parliament, Socialist lawmaker and deputy chairman of Parliament’s Health Care Committee Emil Raynov told reporters in Sofia on Thursday. It is backed by 69 lawmakers in the 240-seat assembly, Raynov said. Parliament will debate on the motion next week.

The government’s policies “deprive a great part of Bulgarians to health-care access,” Hassan Ademov, a lawmaker from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, told reporters, and particular government decisions “limit financing for hospitals.”

Borissov’s current cabinet took office in November 2014, promising to streamline the inefficient health-care, pension and education systems. The National Health Insurance Fund manages more than 3.2 billion lev ($1.8 billion), including 2.1 billion lev collected as obligatory contributions from working Bulgarians to finance public health-care costs. The fund ended 2014 with a shortfall of about 70 million lev after its budget was revised twice to approve additional state funding of 325 million lev.

Yields Rise

The yield on Bulgaria’s euro-denominated bond due in September 2024 rose three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 2.478 percent, the highest in three weeks, at 4:19 p.m. in Sofia.

The government of Borissov, who also served as premier from 2009 to 2013, is supported by his party Gerb and its smaller coalition partner, the Reformers’ Bloc, as well as by the Patriotic Front and the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival. The four parties have 136 members in the National Assembly.

The motion “is unlikely to succeed,” Parvan Simeonov, the executive director at Gallup International Balkan in Sofia, said by phone. “Rather, it may help the ruling coalition look stronger in the eyes of the voters.”

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