Deadly Bus Crash Sparks Shakeup in Bulgaria's Government

(Bloomberg) -- Three Bulgarian ministers resigned in the wake of a deadly bus crash, the biggest shakeup to date in Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s third government, which he formed last year.

The accident in the European Union’s poorest and most-corrupt member state saw the vehicle skid off a mountain road and fall into a gorge near Sofia on Aug. 25, triggering heated debates over institutional responsibility and control over road construction. Seventeen people were killed.

“We take the political responsibility as heads of the three ministries that have relation to the tragic accident,” Minister of Regional Development Nikolay Nankov told reporters in Sofia Friday. “Obviously our ministries lacked coordination and didn’t do enough to prevent this tragedy.”

The government departures come as the country of 7 million continues its push to adopt the euro. But the officials in question -- the other two were Interior Minister Valentin Radev and Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski -- aren’t key for the economy and investors won’t be too concerned, according to Jakub Kratky, an analyst at Generali Investments CEE in Prague.

“Any escalation leading to early elections would hinder its euro-adoption path,” Kratky said by email. But Bulgaria has “a sound macroeconomic situation” and “a well-balanced policy mix.”

The ministers will remain at their posts until their successors are named, Radev said. Replacements will require parliamentary approval.

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