The more I hear of Boyko Borisov in his role as PM the more impressed I am with his ideal and sensible view of solving problems. And by golly has Bulgaria got problems! This is a classic example of improved budgeting that basically involves a little bit of sensible prudence. Brave Boyko, you have my vote on this idea, let’s hope you continue to lead by example.
Bulgaria's new prime minister, Boiko Borisov, has banned entertainment allowances at the council of ministers and told employees to pay for their guests' coffee as part of cost-cutting measures.
Dinners and lunches for visiting delegations will be the only exception, the government's press office said.
It said the government's office had been spending 7,000 levs (USD5,372) a month on flowers and refreshments, which will now be saved as the Balkan country struggles to avoid a budget deficit.
"We will set a personal example," media quoted Borisov as saying.
"My understanding is that when you have a guest, you go and pay yourself just like I pay for my own coffee. If one is very dear to me, I will treat them, if not, I will not treat them."
The order to cut entertainment allowances is likely to be extended to all ministries and regional governors' offices and is expected to save 1 million levs (USD769,200) a year, government spokesman Nikolai Boev said.
The European Union's poorest nation has been hard hit by the global crisis which put an end to 12 years of economic growth.
Borisov's centre-right government won a parliamentary election in July on a promise to crack down on rampant corruption and fight the recession.
It has already cut public spending by 15% to avoid an end-year deficit that could put pressure on Bulgaria's lev currency peg to the euro.
The government, which expects the economy to contract by 2% next year after shrinking by 6.3% in 2009, has pencilled in a budget deficit of 0.7% of GDP next year but will aim for a zero gap in a bid to speed up eurozone entry and avoid a prolonged recession.