Bulgaria finance minister fired


Bulgaria's just-fired Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, a World Bank economist, sits in Parliament on July 27, 2009 in Sofia.



Bulgaria's prime minister fired Finance Minister Simeon Djankov Monday as nationwide protests against catapulting electricity bills continue.

Djankov, 42, who was also deputy prime minister, will be replaced in both his roles by EU Funds Minister Tomislav Donchev, according to the Associated Press. Prime Minister Boiko Borisov did not give any reason for the changes, but is said to be putting them forward for approval in Parliament later this week.

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Djankov's departure comes as Bulgaria's July election approaches and its centre-right government is losing public support as the country pulls itself out of its worst economic downturn in a decade.

Reuters reported that the ousted minister brought the country's budget deficit down to 0.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2012 from 2 percent the year before, gaining him respect in the EU.

On Sunday, thousands across Bulgaria protested and accused the government of failing to improve their living standards, which they say have been falling.