The President: National unity is the choice that politicians and citizens have to reflect and make
The caretaker government has the difficult task of seeking solutions to inherited crises without the mechanisms of a functioning National Assembly, said caretaker Prime Minister Galab Donev
Speech by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev:
Dear Madam Vice President,
Dear Mr Prime Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen Ministers,
This is the fourth caretaker government that I am appointing in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria. You have the responsibility to deal with challenges that were spared to the previous three caretaker governments.
You are taking responsibility for governing Bulgaria at a difficult time for our country: Public fatigue from bitter political opposition; roiling inflation and impoverishment, unaffordable fuel and energy prices, lack of gas for the winter and a heavily indebted public supplier, regulatory gridlock and a crumbling road network, growing protests by various sectoral organisations, lack of prepared laws for the Recovery and Resilience Plan, stalled justice reform and important activities for our full integration into the EU.
Against this worrying backdrop, your main challenge relates to security. A war is raging in Bulgaria's immediate vicinity, the consequences of which are felt directly at home and in the world. Tensions are rising again in the Balkans. The risk of war spreading to new territories is real and your first priority must be to prevent Bulgaria from being drawn into the conflict. Prevent risks to national security, accelerate work on the modernisation of our Armed Forces and increase their interoperability with the Alliance allies.
A direct consequence of the war is the global energy crisis. It will inevitably exacerbate social tensions with the potential for new political and governance crises in the months ahead. The caretaker cabinet and successive governments must be guided by two priorities: security of supply and the price of energy. The interests of the ordinary consumer and the Bulgarian economy must be at the centre of your activities. Citizens expect rational decisions from the executive.
Another disastrous consequence of the war is the food crisis. It comes gradually as prices rise and the production and marketing cycle in agriculture is disrupted. It is an important priority for you to ensure predictability and a clear horizon for farmers, food security for the country and the containment of price rises.
Our society is also waiting to hear the whole truth about the so-called construction of the Hemus motorway, dam repairs and other large-scale corruption projects. But it also expects urgent action to ensure safe road traffic despite the regulatory blockade.
Despite the severe problems you will face from the first day of your rule, which I am convinced will consume all your time, you have other important tasks ahead of you - you have to develop the missing laws under the Recovery and Resilience Plan, and in your mandate you will have to take the last decisive step for Bulgaria's membership of the Schengen area. We can no longer afford to waste time and resources, we cannot afford the risk of Bulgaria remaining on the periphery of the EU.
Certainly, the main task of any caretaker government is to organise the elections. I am convinced that you will solve it successfully, as the previous three caretaker cabinets did.
Dear caretaker ministers,
You are about to govern in the midst of a deep crisis without the support of a functioning parliament and within the framework of current legislation, which is often tested by the dynamics of events.
Governing the country in a crisis situation with high public expectations and needs requires competence, experience, responsibility, composure and dialogue. That is why my choice for caretaker Prime Minister was Mr Galab Donev. Mr Donev was invariably in my caretaker governments Minister of Labour and Social Policy and Deputy Prime Minister and in his overall activity so far he has demonstrated qualities and competence for responsible state positions.
Ivan Demerdzhiev will be the caretaker deputy prime minister for public order and security and caretaker minister of the interior;
Lazar Lazarov as caretaker Deputy Prime Minister for Social Policies and caretaker Minister for Labour and Social Policy;
Hristo Alexiev as caretaker Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policies and caretaker Minister for Transport and Communications;
Atanas Pekanov as caretaker Deputy Prime Minister for the Management of EU Funds;
Rositsa Velkova as caretaker Minister of Finance;
Dimitar Stoyanov as caretaker Minister of Defence;
Assen Medjidiev as caretaker Minister of Health;
Ivan Shishkov as caretaker Minister of Regional Development and Public Works;
Sasho Penov as caretaker Minister of Education and Science;
Nikolay Milkov as caretaker Minister of Foreign Affairs;
Krum Zarkov as caretaker Minister of Justice;
Velislav Minekov as caretaker Minister of Culture;
Rositsa Karamfilova as caretaker Minister of Environment and Water;
Yavor Gechev as caretaker Minister of Agriculture;
Nikola Stoyanov as caretaker Minister of Economy and Industry;
Rosen Hristov as caretaker Minister of Energy;
Alexander Pulev as caretaker Minister for Innovation and Growth;
Ilin Dimitrov as caretaker Minister of Tourism;
Vesela Lecheva as caretaker Minister of Youth and Sport;
Georgi Todorov as caretaker minister for e-government.
Dear caretaker ministers,
Thank you for your courage to take responsibility for the governance of the country at a difficult time for everyone. I trust that you will receive support in difficult moments from the Bulgarian society, which wants to see a government guided not by narrow partisan calculations but united around the public interest.
The two caretaker governments of last year proved that it is possible to unite politicians from different horizons in the name of Bulgaria. This model has not been continued by the subsequent regular government and this is one of the reasons for the failures in foreign and domestic policy in terms of defending the national interest, sovereignty and welfare of Bulgaria.
In the autumn, Bulgarians must vote wisely in order to elect a sustainable and responsible majority. It will be up to it to decide on the strategic issues. I believe that national unity is the choice that politicians and citizens must reflect on and make, and that we must follow steadfastly in these difficult times for Europe and Bulgaria.
I sincerely wish you success and good luck!
Speech by caretaker Prime Minister Galab Donev:
Mrs Vice President,
At such a moment, one usually expresses gratitude for the trust and declares readiness to cope with the enormous responsibility that the post of Prime Minister entails. And I will do so - not just because of the expectation that this is how it is done, but because I know from personal experience that responsibility to the people and the people's trust keep you from losing your balance, no matter how high up the country's governing hierarchy you are.
I have learned a lot about myself from the media in recent months. I'll take the liberty of telling you something about myself: I don't lose my balance from the high ground. And I'm not looking for the "loophole" of the Law.
Under the Constitution, the President is the guarantor of the Prime Minister and the Ministers to whom he gives his vote of confidence.
Mr President, thank you for entrusting me with the stewardship of the country at a time of crises.
Because I have the experience and observation of the responsibilities of both a regular and caretaker government, I confidently assert that a caretaker government is not a B-team in the governance of the country. And this is not some marketing ploy of mine. That is what the basic law says.
Today, the 100th government of the Republic is about to take office. The 100th government that will not have 100 days of tolerance. We have the difficult task of seeking solutions to inherited crises without the mechanisms of a functioning National Assembly.
I expect my fellow Deputy Prime Ministers and Ministers to work 100 per cent on the following areas:
The organisation and conduct of fair elections;
Restoring trust between the institutions that represent the state;
Finding a way out of all legacy crises;
Lifting political tensions;
Continuing work on the Recovery and Resilience Plan.
The oath we are about to take lays down the unconditional principles that will guide us: to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land and to be guided in all our actions by the interests of the people.
Distinguished colleagues, do not forget these words, they are not just a statement of protocol, do not leave them in this Chamber. This is the oath by which we will be responsible for the fate of the homeland and of our compatriots.
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