Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

OLIGARCHS GOVERN BULGARIA

What kind of public effect do you expect from the non-confidence vote to the Government led by Sergey Stanishev given last week?
- First, we expect it to become clear that the Government is not competent to deal with the disasters caused by the floods and is also unable to take right decisions to protect the people. Second, we expect that the actions of the rulers resulting in misusing people's misfortune come to light - they deviated the money provided by taxpayers towards companies that failed to do their job. Third, we expect that people see the level of arrogance of the rulers who, after promising to help them, withdrew their support and told them they should recover by themselves. We expect that people see how the state capitulated in front of its responsibilities.
It turns out that the debate preceding the voting was more important. Do you think the society will pay attention to the figures announced by the opposition?
- The opposition announced lots of concrete figures. We all witnessed that companies and concrete agreements were mentioned, as well as corruption and misuse mechanisms. I cannot say what will happen with these figures from now on, but they should logically be sent to the Corruption Committee and the Chief Prosecutor. At least the most striking violations.
Will the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria ask for a new non-confidence vote in May? Rumours are circulating that you are going to request the resignation of Roumen Petkov, Minister of Interior, because of his inability to deal with crime and corruption. Are you planning to do so?
- It is quite obvious that Roumen Petkov is not coping with the task. However, he is not the only one, the Minister of Justice Georgi Petkanov is the other weak point in the system. But the issue will be much broader in May. The official report of the European Union will be announced at that time and I hope it will become clear whether or not Bulgaria will become a full member of the union. And whether or not we shall be accepted with precautionary clauses which will be a very serious failure. A failure of the Government in achieving its main priority - full membership in the European Union, is quite a natural reason to ask for a non-confidence vote.
Do you keep up the forecast you made in the end of last year that the current Government would finish its mandate?
- This is a Government of the divided interest and divided power. It is a Government of power consumed in an 8:5:3 proportion. If this formula is kept, the people who have lined up around the power like a table, will remain there.
Do you expect members of the cabinet to be replaced? People are already talking about it...
- It will be quite natural for the Prime Minister, seeing challenges towards the country's full membership, to show determination and willingness and make quick changes. Especially urgent is the need to replace the foreign minister and the minister of justice. That's how a new reliable trio will be formed - a new chief prosecutor, a new minister of foreign affairs and a new minister of justice. Should this be done, Bulgaria would have much stronger reasons to insist on avoiding the precautionary clauses. If the Prime Minister sees this he would do something. But he does not see it, he does not consider the situation critical with regard to the goals he personally set.
How far did the right parties go in their efforts to participate with a single candidate in the president elections next autumn?
- We already passed the second round of proposing concrete candidates. There will be other rounds, too.
Is your deputy Vesselin Metodiev really the candidate chosen by the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria?
- I cannot comment on this information, since we made a promise not to talk about it. The people responsible for the consultations are going to decide what and how they will announce to the public. We simply want to demonstrate loyalty to the consultations. By the way, Vesselin Metodiev is a nice candidature.
Will the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria take the risk to participate independently with its own candidate in the elections, if no agreement is reached?
- We consider the fielding of a single candidate a priority. We are going to do everything that depends on us to provide such candidature, because we know how positive this will affect the right wing. On the other hand, we know how negatively a failure would reflect.
What is the difference between GERB, the movement established by Boyko Borissov, and Ataka as election phenomena, let's say?
- In Bulgaria, there will always be people who will not accept the reforms and the transition. There will be people gazing at communist Bulgaria who grieve for the past. People who will sing praises to Todor Zhivkov. The society is not ordered in a line. There are people who still live in 1988 and others who live in 2006, at the door-sill of Europe. There will always be someone who thinks that if a person owns something, he should be deprived of it by violence. He should be killed. Ataka is threatening directly in the hall. We sit behind them and see them. They are threatening directly. I myself am the target of all kinds of threats on their part and this is something the questors in the National Assembly know. They see what is happening. The other features of Ataka - denying the European Union membership, seeing Europe as an enemy and Russia as a friend, are typical for all those who still live with communism. I cannot comment on GERB, because it is a movement. GERB is a non-government organization, it is not formed as a political party and cannot take part in the political life. Don't make me talk about something that is not willing to show a political face.
Which is the balancing power in the Government? The National Movement Simeon II or the Movement for Rights and Freedom?
- The formula is the balancing power. It balances them all. The Bulgarian Socialist Party is calm when it sees its eight parts of the power and the Movement for Rights and Freedom is happy with its three parts. The National Movement Simeon II is balanced with five parts. This is a joint-stock company.
It turns out that a hoop of companies, whoever owns it, is ruling Bulgaria...
- Oligarchs are ruling Bulgaria. This is a fact... It is difficult to keep hiding it.
Do these oligarchs want Bulgaria to remain outside the European Union?
- They'd rather take up positions that would allow them to profit as much as possible even in case of integration. This was directly declared by Ahmed Dogan, for example, who said when the money would arrive, how it would be divided and used. For himself, unfortunately, not for the people. As it happened with the money provided for the floods.
Who are the oligarchs?
- Ahmed Dogan is a distinguished oligarch. His personality combines both political and economic power. However, beneath are smaller oligarchs who mix their political power with economic one, too.
And the Chief Prosecutor who was elected without competition not long ago - is he going to do something?
- He should. If he fails to refer the matter to himself, we're going to do it for him. Because the numerous facts announced in the hall before the non-confidence vote are sufficient. He should be interested, he has no other choice. Boris Velchev is more likely to be interested as his name is not Nikola Filchev. Nikola Filchev was a diabolical figure.
What is the current political strategy of the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria?
- A single candidate on the president elections, victory against Georgi Parvanov in the second round and then - the municipal elections.

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