NIKOLAY VASSILEV EMBARKS ON A COMBAT WITH CORRUPTION
The Vice Premier and Minister of Transport and Telecommunications Nikolay Vassilev has proposed to the PM Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to appoint Iliya Lingorsky Deputy Transport Minister, responsible for telecommunications and the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC), the BANKER weekly learnt. In June, 2003, Mr. Vassilev's former political advisor was appointed Director of the Executive Agency for Tourist Advertising. Iliya Lingorski has been well-known to the general public for many years. He became a movie star as a child in the part of the plump, spectacled violinist Zhenya from the one-time popular Bulgarian film Vasco da Gama from the village of Rupcha. Mr. Vassilev is obviously resloved to replace the team of the ministry, where he succeeded Plamen Petrov. As the BANKER weekly has already written, it won't be a surprise if he dismisses Georgi Nikolov, Director of the Executive Agency Railroad Administration. His replacement is motivated by the numerous problems in the railways sector. During the week it became known that Hristo Petrichev, Director of the Rousse regional department of the State Automobile Inspectorate, was removed from office on the order of the Transport Minister. The ministry explained Mr. Petrichev was suspected of curruption and criminal prosecution has been initiated against him for breach of trust.In the end of last week Mr. Vassilev parted with Dimiter Zoev, head of the Transport Policy Directorate. The latter is one of the key units of the ministry as all projects from the transport sector pass through it. Despite rumous that Mr. Zoev has been dismissed, the BANKER weekly learnt that he has just retired. Mr. Zoev was seen off at a good-bye party with champagne and received from Nikolay Vassilev flowers and a well-deserved deed for his 40 years of work. The Transport Ministry's press centre learned about Mr. Zoev's retirement from the BANKER. Mr. Zoev's name was recently involved in a scandal regarding the project for modernization of the Sofia Airport, where construction has been stopped. Transport Ministry insiders are certain the Vice Premier will go on with the replacements. And this is only natural, having in mind that businessmen in the branch can write a thick book about the curruption within that ministry. Pundits claim that Nikolay Vassilev is even inclined to sack the cleaners in the ministry and hire a firm for that service.