Банкеръ Weekly



The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) reported the highest proceeds for 2002 (BGN2.5MN), it became evident from records of the Audit Office. The incomes of the National Movement Simeon II (NMSII) were just BGN123,000 and together with those of Oborishte Movement and proceeds of the Party of Bulgarian Women, the amount totaleld BGN2.42MN. The 66 parties, which submitted their financial reports for 2002, had total proceeds of only BGN9.17MN. Almost half of that amount - BGN4.5MN - is the subsidy from the budget, due to the political forces which have deputies in Parliament. The subsidy to the NMSII has been evenly distributed between Oborishte Movement and the Party of Bulgarian Women, each getting BGN1.125MN. For comparison, the parties collected BGN9.3MN during the electoral 2001. BGN7.2MN of that amount came from donations (no state subsidy was allocated then).BSP reported the highest proceeds from membership dues - BGN670,000 - and quite a number of formations, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) among them, do not require such fees from their members. The leftist party also received the highest amount of donations - BGN729,000 - and sponsorship by firms was insignificant. NMSII and the two parties within the coalition received BGN104,000 in donations from juristic persons and BGN42,000 from citizens. The Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) got BGN379,000 from natural persons and BGN77,000 from firms. Money from sponsors - exceeding BGN1.7MN - is considerably more than incomes from membership dues - BGN1.3MN.Seven parties that are not represented in Parliament received anonymous donations worth BGN123,000. In fact, the Political Parties Act stipulates a curious loophole for such financing - anonymous donations may not exceed 25% of the subsidy to the political forces in Parliemant. And those that are outside of the National Assembly are limited to a quarter of the smallest subsidy (in this case - 25% of the BGN392,000 to which the MRF is entitled). The Bulgarian National Movement VMRO emerged as the biggest renter, with proceeds of BGN676,000 from real estates in 2002, followed by UDF, with proceeds from rents of BGN337,000. NMSII was obviously the biggest economizer. Together with Oborishte Movement and the Party of Bulgarian Women it managed to save more than BGN2MN in 2002. Another 40 partices, among them the Agrarian Party of Georgi Petrov and the Ecoglasnost Movement of Edvin Sugarev, decalred zero proceeds at the Audit Office. According to the summarized report, 199 parties have not at all filed their financial records. The biggest among them is the conservative movement Gergyovden, the Bulgarian Business Bloc of Hristo Ivanov, George Ganchev's Bloc, the United Christian-Democratic Center, headed by Ekaterina Mihailova, Bogomil Bonev's Civil Party, Hrito Portochanov's Green Party, the political movement Euroroma, etc. Quite a number of parties arousing memories from the near past also forgot to submit financial reports: Alexander Tomov's GOR, Georgi Pinchev's Agrarian Party and Alexander Stamboliyski Agrarian Party of the foremr agriculture minister Svetoslav Shivarov, Petko Simeonov,s Liberals, two parties represented by Reneta Indgova and Dimiter Loudjev, etc.The inspection of the Audit Office showed as well that the democratic wave resulted in complete lack of control on the polictical forces. The institution had information about the existence of a total of 277 parties in Bulgaria, and the addresses of registration of 8 of them were unknown. From the 269 letters, sent to remind the addresses to submit their reports, 57 were not delivered as the parties had move to unkown addresses. Afterwards the Audit Office checked in Sofia City Court to establish that some of the parties were not only registered at addresses where they could not be found, but that some of them were even headed by people who were already dead. According to register of the Sofia City Court, 330 parties were registered by September 30, 2003, 25 of them - in 2003 (this means that they'll have to submit reports for teh first time next year). Comparing the 305 formations registered till 2002 and the 212 addresses to which the Audit Office managed to mail letters, it turns out that 93 parties in Bulgaria are only existing on paper. Among them there are such that have decided to suspend their operation , but the court has not registered that. The Audit Office insists for an amendment of the Political Parties Act, obliging the formations to reregister in order to eliminate POBox parties. In addition, the controlling body recommends to ban anonymous donations, and to declare separately donations from connected foundations and parallel structures. In a series of interviews the Audit Office Chairman Georgi Nikolv recommended some time ago to undertake more radical measures (such as making parties pay for their bulletins for elections) in order to restrict the number of political forces with symbolical membership.

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