The populist party ITN has withdrawn its ministers from the Bulgarian government after much dispute. Now a minority movement is looming.

In Bulgaria, six months after Prime Minister Kiril Petkov’s pro-Western anti-corruption government took office, a minority cabinet is emerging.

Entertainer Slawi Trifonov’s populist ITN party withdrew its four ministers from the four-party government on Wednesday. “We are ready for a minority government,” said Prime Minister Petkov.

Trifonov justified the resignation of his ministers with Prime Minister Petkov’s (PP) policy on North Macedonia, which his party found unacceptable, and with financial policy. The background to this are allegations against Prime Minister Petkov that he is pursuing an independent foreign policy aimed at single-handedly lifting the Bulgarian veto against the start of EU accession talks with North Macedonia.

Foreign Minister Teodora Gentschowska is provided by the ITN. Earlier, three ITN ministers walked out of a government meeting because their proposals to update the current state budget were not taken into account. Petkov, on the other hand, accused the ITN of having demanded an additional 3.6 billion leva (around 1.8 billion euros) for road construction companies that are said to be close to former Prime Minister Boiko Borissov (GERB).

The entertainer party ITN also provides the deputy head of government and at the same time regional minister Grozdan Karadschow as well as the ministers for energy and for sport, Aleksandar Nikolov and Radostin Wassilew.

It was initially unclear when the departments should receive new ministers. Other coalition partners of Petkov are the Socialists (BSP) and the liberal-conservative Alliance Democratic Bulgaria (DB). The four-party government had a majority of 131 of the 240 MPs in parliament.