Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

Muravey Radev: THE CONTRACT WITH CROWN AGENTS IS EVIDENCE OF MILEN VELCHEV'S VENALITY

The contract with Crown Agents is anti-Bulgarian. It is so nonsensical and expensive that it can be qualified as detrimental to our country. I claim it will cost us BGN40MN because Bulgaria has undertaken much more obligations in addition to the GBP11MN, which our country has to pay to the private UK consultants. With the expenses for secretaries, cars, offices, telephone conversations, business trips in Bulgaria and abroad of the British team, the total amount of costs under the contract with Crown Agents will probably exceed GBP15MN (about BGN40MN).At the same time we'll lose around EUR13MN this year under several programmes which the European Union (EU) had approved for Bulgaria. They were aimed to raise the potential and capacity of our customs administration in order to bring it in compliance with EU standards. As some of these tasks are the same as those of Crown Agents, the EU told Bulgaria that if the country wants to pay to the British consultants, it will allocate to others the money that was earmarked for us. That is why I claim that the contract is not only detrimental but is also against the law.It is personal disgrace and an infamy for the institutions you represent to close such an agreement... This is a one-sided contract, containing rights on the part of Crown Agents and obligations on the part of Bulgaria. There is a nonsensical provision, stipulating the British shall bear no responsibility and pay no indemnities for any damage they may inflict through their operation in Bulgaria, even in case the damages are a result of negligence. Just imagine! Even if you are careless and negligent, if you inflict damages, Bulgaria will assume the responsibility. That's why I'm saying that Crown Agents has closed a contrcat with Crown Agents. One should be an idiot or very partial in order to sign such an agreement. Therefore, I directly accuse the Finance Minister Milen Velchev of venality. I declare herewith that he is either personally favoured by this contract and keeps it secret in order to hide his disgrace, or he is defending the interests of a higher-rank person. That's why I believe it's high time to put an end to those absurd explanations about its secrecy and declassify it. The contract should be discussed by the MPs and the Bulgarian mass media and public should be informed about its contents.I am sure that the Finance Minister is not on the right side of the law, because the contract contains clauses stipulating that if it is revoked as a result of Bulgarian or international authorities' intervention, a huge amount shall be paid to Crown Agents. If the contract is made public it's implementation might well be cancelled, but the disgrace will be brought to the light. I am sure this will happen. It's unpardonable to throw away BGN40MN all for nothing on the background of the poverty in which the Bulgarian people live.

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