Bulgaria's Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, forecasts a 6% economic growth for the last quarter of the 2011.
In a Monday interview for the Bulgarian daily "Trud" (Labor), Djankov says Bulgaria has entered the crisis half a year later than most European countries, thus the recovery is to arrive six months later as well.
The Minister points out Bulgaria is now in its third, consecutive strong quarter in 2011, while the fourth one would be the strongest where growth will certainly reach 6% with 8% being possible.
Djankov admits that such growth had not happened in Bulgaria even before the crisis, but bases his forecast on new policies and the lowest taxes in Europe.
"We still need some reforms. Our goal is not only to catch up with those that are immediately ahead of us such as Romania and Latvia, but to aim higher – at average European income. This could be achieved during two terms in office," he says.
When asked to assess the work of the cabinet of the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, party, Djankov gives high marks to Regional Minister, Rosen Plevneliev, Environment Minister, Nona Karadzhova, Economy and Energy Minister, Traicho Traikov, and the newly appointed Transport Minister, Ivaylo Moskovski, adding in its modern history Bulgaria never had such strong economic team. He, however, criticizes Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, saying the latter should work more and talk less, and points out the need of a reform in the security sector.
The Minister explains that the average expenses for security in Europe are 2% from the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, while in Bulgaria they are 4.2%, adding the 2.2% difference should be redirected towards education, science, culture and faming, which could not happen in one year, but would be possible in three years.
Djankov says he is already holding talks with Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, on the subject.
The Minister assesses the work of the National Revenue Agency, NRA, as "improving" in the last months, pointing out he wants to make sure that it would become a permanent trend.