BulgariaLocal Press Digest
SOFIA, Apr 14, 2000
The government is expected to discuss on Thursday a report prepared by the working group in charge of the sale of 51 percent in Bulgarian state telecom monopoly BTC to a consortium of Greek OTE and Dutch KPN .
The daily quoted members of the group as saying that the report did not recommend a final decision on the sale but listed controversial parts of the deal instead.
Bulgaria's insurance major Bulstrad said it had posted a profit of 111 million levs ($65.68 million) for 1999. Comparative figures for the previous year were not released.
Bulstrad's shareholders decided to raise capital to 9.4 million levs from 4.7 million levs.
Bulgarian monthly consumer price inflation slowed down to minus 0.6 percent in March from 0.5 percent the previous month, the National Statistics Institute said. Food prices fell by 1.6 percent in March, prices of services fell 0.6 percent and prices of non-foods rose 0.7 percent.
Bulgaria's gas distribution monopoly Bulgargas posted a 75 million levs loss for 1999, its Chief Executive Director Kiril Gegov told parliament. He did not give comparative figures for 1998.
A total of 3.2 million Bulgarians, or around 40 percent of the country's population, live on less than 80 levs ($39.4) per month, according to data by the biggest local trade union, the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria.
It is highly possible that early general elections might be held in Bulgaria, said Osman Oktai, a leading member of the ethnic Turks' Movement for Rights and Freedoms which forms the third largest party in parliament. General elections are due in May 2001.