PILOTS REVOLT AGAINST DEPUTY-MINISTER APIK GARABEDYAN
The Union of Civil Aviation Pilots has sent two letters to Premier Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha with copies to Deputy PM and Minister of Economy Nikolai Vassilev, Minister of Transport and Telecommunications Plamen Petrov, and the Speaker of the National Assemly Prof. Ognyan Gerdjikov.
Together with the formal congratulations for their appointment to the responsible state positions, the pilots have expressed hopes for cooperation with the new Bulgarian Government in solving the problems of civil aviation which have accumulated over the last few years. Without the slightest hint of interference in your policy regarding personnel - the letter dated July 27, 2001 reads - we would like to share our extremely negative appraisal of the activities of Apik Garabedyan who has been Deputy Minister of Transport and Telecommunications so far. In our opinion the responsibility for a considerable part of Balkan Airlines' failures and scandals around the state-run enterprise Air Traffic Control rests with him.
As the BANKER weekly has already written, it is quite probable that Apik Garabedyan retains his position in Minister Plamen Petrov's new team. As a reason for that aviation cirles point out Mr. Garabedyan's close relations with the family of the new Minister of Finance Milen Velchev, with whose parents he had worked for a long time shoulder to shoulder in Balkan Airlines.
In their second letter the pilots underline the necessity for the Government's urgent intervention for solving the problem of the national air carrier.