The head of the Bridge reformist party, Bozo Petrov, said on Tuesday that the party considered that a proposal by the Patriotic Coalition to reorganise ministries and reduce the number of agencies and state administration organisations was acceptable, but noted that that would not be done immediately but in six months time.
"The proposal the Patriotic Coalition came up with yesterday follows what Bridge has been advocating from the very start, to streamline state institutions. We still have two weeks for negotiations which is a short time, and in cooperation with the Patriotic Coalition we will put together a team of people who will analyse the current situation over the next six months and come up with a good plan, not just for ministries but state agencies and state administration organisations," Petrov told reporters during a pause at a meeting of the party's National Council.
Another reason to postpone the reorganisation is that the current ministries are in the process of applying for EU funds and any reorganisation at this time could delay the payment of these funds.
"Our impression is that the Patriotic Coalition made this proposal but did not insist on it. We agreed for a complete restructure not just of ministries but at the local and regional level too so that will certainly occur. However, it will take us six months to do the job well," Petrov underscored.
In the midst of the National Council meeting, Bridge was notified unofficially that there would be no meeting with the Patriotic Coalition today and reporters asked what the reason was for the delay in negotiations. "There is no delay in the negotiations. We accepted the proposal. We agree that public institutions should be downsized and we still think that the number of counties and local government units should be reduced and that agencies and state administration should be merged," Petrov said.
He added that the talks would continue over the next two weeks and that he had presumed that negotiations would occur every day, however, he could not specify when the negotiations might continue today and he did not wish to comment further.