Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said that the country is facing another 12 months of hardship, but that prosperity and economic recovery will come as early as 2012, Investor daily reported.
Borissov said that he expects Bulgaria's banking system's credit rating to be improved in May or June. He made the comments during the Eighth Congress of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions, Podkrepa.
During the congress, Borissov also asked union leader Konstantin Trenchev to remain working in the interests of Bulgaria. Trenchev had hinted several days ago that he was contemplating leaving his post.
"In order for people's wages to improve, we need to have investments, and we need for the economy to be recovering as well. We will weather it out in 2011, but things should improve in 2012," Borissov said, cited by Investor.
"We inherited the country at the time of an unprecedented global economic crunch – and when we took over, there were no measures in place against the crisis," Borissov added. "During our mandate, however, European Funds were absorbed at a rate of 10 times more than they were before," Borissov said.
According to the Prime Minister, the previous Coalition government had absolutely nothing to do with a genuine coalition. It was a government of "predators" out to "grab" and "distribute" power for themselves.
Meanwhile, Social and Labour Minister Totyo Mladenov has proposed for the minimum wage to be increased by 30 leva this year. Labour unions, however, want it increased by 50 leva, up to 290. Negotiations will start on March 31.
This will cost the State about three million leva, as there are about 128 000 Bulgarians currently working for minimum wage, Mladenov said.
On February 1, Standard and Poor's removed the ratings of Bulgarian American Credit Bank (BACB), having earlier downgraded them to B-/C from B/B. The ratings carried a "negative" outlook.
Late in January, Moody's global rating agency downgraded to E+ from D- the standalone bank financial strength rating of Bulgarian MKB Unionbank and its long-term deposit ratings to Ba3 from Ba2.
The revision of the financial strength rating factors was the impact of "the weak economic conditions in Bulgaria on the bank's financial fundamentals, mainly its asset quality metrics and profitability, which have been under pressure since 2009," the agency said
According to Moody's, risk management processes in Bulgaria have improved and regulatory and supervisory frameworks are in place and constantly evolving, which is in accordance with the regulations and standards of the European Union.