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Plamen Oresharski

Plamen Oresharski, who was endorsed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, was officially approved in Parliament 29 May 2013 as Bulgarias Prime Minister. Oresharski was an economist and financier who served as Vice Dean of Sofia's Economic University. He was previously a deputy finance minister under a center-right government in 1997-2001 and Finance Minister under Socialist PM-designate Sergei Stanishev. Oresharski quit the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) in 2003 following a controversy regarding his nomination as mayor of Sofia. The UDF withdrew Oresharski's candidacy for Sofia's mayor after his meeting with a controversial businessman linked to organized crime became public. He has limited working English.

Plamen Vasilev Oresharski was born on February 21, 1960, in Bulgaria's western mining town of Bobovdol. He has a Master's and a Bachelor's degree from the University for National and World Economy. In 1992, he obtained a PhD in Investments and Investment Analysis from the same University. Oresharski has specialized in Bank Management in the US and in Government Bonds Emission and National Savings in London, UK. From 1992 to 1993, Oresharski was Vice-Dean of the Finance Department of the University of National and World Economy. From 1993 to 1997, he was Director of the Finance Ministry's State Treasury and Debt Directorate. From 1997 to 2001, Plamen Oresharski served as Deputy Finance Minister in the right-wing Cabinet of Prime Minister, Ivan Kostov. He was in charge of management of State debt and securities market, and of preparing currency peg legislation.

After the general elections loss of the right wing in the 2001, until 2005, Oresharski was lecturer and since 2003 - Vice President of the University of National and World Economy. During the term of former Tsar and PM, Simeon Saxe-Coburg, and his party National Movement for Stability and Prosperity, NMSP, (2001 2005), Oresharski was elected Deputy Chairman of the right-wing Union of Democratic Forces, UDF. In 2003, UDF nominated him to run as their candidate for Mayor of Sofia, but the nomination was withdrawn due to allegations linking him to murky businessmen.

After that, Oresharski stepped down from the political stage, until August 17, 2005, when he was appointed Bulgaria's Finance Minister in the Three-Way Coalition Cabinet of Socialist PM, Sergey Stanishev, between NMSP, the Socialists, and the ethnic Turkish party. He was the only non-partisan member of this Cabinet.

On January 1, 2007, he became the EIB Governor for Bulgaria. In 2009, Oresharski was elected Member of the 41st Parliament on the ticket of the Bulgarian Socialist Party's, BSP, Coalition for Bulgaria. In May 2013, he was elected MP in the 42nd General Assembly, again on the ticket of Coalition for Bulgaria and was nominated by the Socialists for PM.

Oresharski has led the Bulgarian team working on the restructuring and the negotiating of the foreign debt; the team preparing legislation and regulations for the currency board; the work group for the liberalization of the currency regime in Bulgaria; the team for preparing and introducing the rules and the legal frame for the securities market in the country. He has also consulted investment and capital projects of commercial banks for management of assets and liabilities, and has participated in the development of methodology and rules for issuing and trading government securities in Bulgaria.

As Finance Minister, he is credited with working on a fiscal policy in the interest of competitiveness and fiscal stability, and with introducing the 10% flat tax. He implemented one of the most significant reforms in the State administration in transforming the tax unit into a National Revenue Agency, uniting tax, local tax, and social security collection. Due to the above, an independent research of the World Bank in 2007 ranked Bulgaria among the top 10 reformers. Oresharski also led the development of the key strategic documents of Bulgaria as an EU newcomer the National Program for Reforms and Convergence Programs, which were approved by the European Commission.

Students chained and padlocked doors at Bulgarias largest university on 12 November 2013 as demonstrators reignited protests against official corruption and disarray just six months after the current Socialist-led Bulgarian government took office. Thousands also demonstrated in Sundays March of Justice in downtown Sofia, taking aim at the current government, which took office in May after popular, student-led protestsearlier in the year helped ouster the previous government. The students and protesters are calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski's technocratic government, renewed elections and an overhaul of alleged oligarchical practices that have raised the ire of many across the country. A new wave of fury follows the resignation of Hristo Biserov - deputy leader of MRF, the junior party in the ruling coalition - just before prosecutors announced an investigation into him for tax fraud and money laundering.

On 08 June 2014 Oresharski ordered a halt to work on Russias South Stream pipeline, on the recommendation of the EU. The ruling Socialists support the South Stream project, while Movement for Rights and Freedom leader Lyutvi Mestan told parliament on 05 June 2014 that Bulgaria should defend its strategic interests "in cooperation, not in confrontation" with Europe.

The decision was announced after his talks with US senators. "At this time there is a request from the European Commission, after which we've suspended the current works, I ordered it," Oresharski told journalists after meeting with John McCain, Chris Murphy and Ron Johnson during their visit to Bulgaria on Sunday. "Further proceedings will be decided after additional consultations with Brussels." McCain, commenting on the situation, said that "Bulgaria should solve the South Stream problems in collaboration with European colleagues," adding that in the current situation they would want "less Russian involvement" in the project.

Oresharski resigned his post 25 July 2014. His decision came after accusations by opponents of failing to cope with the worst banking crisis in 17 years. The decision was supported by 180 lawmakers in the parliament, only 8 voted against, and 8 abstained. The Oresharski government lasted for only 16 months of the 4 years it was elected for. New elections on October 5 would see the countrys fifth prime minister since Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007.

My cabinet worked in unprecedented conditions of hostilityDespite that we achieved good results. All business indicators improved in the year we ruled, Reuters quotes Oresharskis speech just before the vote. The socialist Prime Minister resigned after the opposition, which gained in the recent European Parliament elections, accused him of bringing the country to ruin. There has been a catastrophic run on the countrys third and fourth-largest banks, which gave his political foes ammunition to force his departure.

The First Investment Bank, the countrys third-largest commercial lender, became an object of an unprecedented attack. Depositors began withdrawing cash, following a flood of SMS messages and posts on Bulgarian language websites warning the bank was close to collapse. The run on First Investment cost the bank 800 million lev ($550 million) in client deposits in one day. Another lender - Corporate Commercial Bank AD - was placed under the supervision of the central bank on June 20 after it ran out of liquidity. It happened amid media reports of a dispute between the majority shareholder and a large depositor, a member of parliament who withdrew his funds.

The mass asset withdrawal left the banks just a step away from bankruptcy. The European Commission then agreed to extend a $2.27 billion credit line to the lenders. This government didnt have the needed support and strength to carry out serious reforms. It depends very much on whether the government that will come after the elections will master the support and the will for painful reforms, Bloomberg quotes Daniel Smilov, an analyst at the Center for Liberal Strategies in Sofia.

He has a number of publications focused on investment and finances and is fluent in English and Russian. Oresharski is married and has one son.

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Page last modified: 30-06-2021 12:04:23 ZULU