Protest against Court Corruption in Bulgaria

A horrible case protest against court corruption happened in Bulgaria. A local businessman, stated himself victim of a corrupted court case for money-laundering decided to protest the court dicision by self-dismembering. He cut in open one finger and claimed that it would go on until court starts to proclaim justice in Bulgaria, not to work upon corruption and illegal principles.

This is the protesting businessman words before he commited act of self-dismembering:
“It’s horrible to see that a man decides to set himself on fire. But twice horrible are the acts that gang of criminals, proclaiming themselves politicians and tycoons commit on Bulgarian state and population. Horryfying is …. self-burning – a man to set himself on fire is unbelievable. This really break our hearts and breaks souls and moral. However it is strange that nevertheless we all know where is the origin of this, we could do nothing to stop it …. and the origin in the corruption all over the state system … Poverty and mysery origins from corruption. Anyhow, there is still lack of resistance against genocyde towards Bulgarian nation. Bulgarians are still led by party, ethnic and all other principles but not oppose the 20-years genocide towards us. Thus we do not pay attention to ones guilty for our disasters. I know tha protests are too many now and people do not consider them seriously in their different forms. Even peopel that set themselves on fire are not interesting any more. I assume that what I would do for emphasizing my words also will be just a line in the press. But I am firm on doing it for my words against court corruption in Bulgaria to be audible. And now I will stand-up, go to the bath-room and will cut myself a finger. I do this myself, not after drinking alchohol or any drugs. The court corruption that I and my nation eye-witness every day is the reason for act of cutting myself.”

This businessman- Mr. Zartov – was proclaimed quilty by the court after his Russian business-partner submitted a claim that due to his ”bad management” the Russian businessman has potential loss of 3 milion Bulgarian leva (around 1.5 milion EURO).

The truth is over there … but where?

Breaches of Procurement practices in Bulgaria

A simple article outlines examples of high-officials pressure during Evaluation phase in Tenders. The fact outlined happened over tenders for EU agricultural and other funds.

 

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Bulgaria’s Deputy AgriMin Probed for Abuse of EU Funds

 January 9, 2013, Wednesday

Bulgaria’s Deputy Agriculture MinisterSvetlana Boyanova, has been investigated by the Main Inspectorate at the Council of Ministers for violations in the use of EU funds.

The information was reported Wednesday by the Bulgarian news agency BGNES, citing documents from the probe and its conclusions, provided to the journalists from the media.

The agency further reports the probe has been initiated by Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, while the conclusions span on 10 pages. They involve Boyanova’s work as the person assigned by Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, to oversee the “Rural Areas Development” Directorate, and strategies for BGN millions.

The tipoff has been received on November 4, 2011, and has been sent by Margaritka Astradzhieva, a Deputy Chair of the Committee for the Assessment of Local Strategies, with a copy to the EU anti-fraud office OLAF.

According to the tipoff, Boyanova and her team made attempts to interfere in the work of the Committee by pressuring them to provide information on the assessments and on their decisions.

The tipoff further claims that in June, 2011, Demina Bayraktarska, the Chair of the Committee, has been summoned in the office of the Deputy Agriculture Ministerand has been questioned on concrete applications – if they had been approved and if they would receive financing.

The answers have been negative and two days later, Naydenov has issued an order for the replacement of the Committee’s team, including Bayraktarska, Astradzhieva and several members. Another order of Naydenov, signed by Boyanova, has mandated a second assessment of the said applications with Boyanova being the person controlling the execution of the order.

Astradzhieva insists the second assessment aimed at manipulating the results. No sanctions are pending against Boyanova, one year after the tipoff and after the probe has proved that the allegations were true. The results have been simply sent to the Agriculture Ministry with a request to fix the “wrongdoings.”

Similar breaches of procedure are witnessed on EU funded project in structures of the Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria. Again Controlling person of the Evaluation commission was changed at the state owner Registry Agency to the Ministry of Justice. In 2011 a long waited IT System tender has been announced by the Project Leader as a tender controlling person. At the time the evaluation committee due to start work, the Executive Director of the Agency at that time Mrs. Nikolova in 2011 changed the controlling person with one, not involved in the project. The new person was closely instructed by Mrs. Nikolova for the selection of proposals. At the same time the letter of the Project Leader to the Deputy Minister of Justice for potential breaches in this change was not forwarded to the Managing Authority and the Project Leader was put under pressure not to disseminate the information about these deeds of the Agency’s director. As an outcome of the ”secured evaluation” the Tender evaluation prolonged more than 8 months, and was returned twice for re-evaluation. And resulted EURO 40 000 financial corrections from the EU funds managing authorities for  evaluation breaches.

If such breaches are tolerated from Ministry of Justice itself and EU Agricultural Managing Authority, what to say about corruption and breaches in procurement procedures upon Bulgarian lower administrative levels.

Steve Hanke: Co…

Steve Hanke: Corruption Is Bulgaria’s Achilles Heel
Finance – January 5, 2013, Saturday
Johns Hopkins economist Steve Hanke is known as the “father” of the currency board in Bulgaria.

If Bulgaria manages to tackle corruption successfully, the country will become number one on the Balkans, Johns Hopkins economist Steve Hanke, who designed the currency board in Bulgaria in the 1990s, says.

“Something must be done against corruption. If this changes, Bulgaria will definitely have the leading role on the Balkans. Investors are always surprised when they see how good the economic and bank indicators of the country are. The problem is that they refuse to even look at them because of the corruption and the judicial system,” Hanke said in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, Saturday.

The economist further stressed he believed the best part of Bulgarian “history” must be told, with presenting the positives, and not just the negative. He reiterated corruption was the country’s “Achilles’ heel” in preventing economic growth.

Regarding the newly imposed tax on bank deposits, which became effective in Bulgaria on January 1, the Professor voiced strong disagreement with such “political decision.”

“I have been opposing this since the day it was announced. At times of crisis the bank system should not be interfered with. This is a case of pro-cyclic regulation. Times are bad and should not be additionally worsened with imposing new taxes in the middle of the crisis. Other than that, the regulation of Bulgarian banks by the Central Bank, BNB, is a very good one,” said he.

Hanke stated that Bulgaria was one of the very few countries to successfully deal with bank capitalization i.e. in the time of economic boom the country tightened control over banks, and in the time of crisis, this control was eased.

The economist noted his opinion that Brussels and the West in general should have learned a lesson from bank regulation and the successful practices of countries such as Bulgaria and Estonia.

The Corruption and faults in Judiciary system in Bulgaria are not just back-warding phenomena for Bulgaria at time of crisis. They constitute the ‘peak of the iceberg” of a deeper processes  that in fact lead Bulgaria to the bad social results – the current years politics.

Steve Hanke himself provided consultancy for the Currency board, that in fact saved the Bulgarian financial/bank system of the deregulation trend that in fact ruined other countries bank systems and outraged financial crisis.

However politics of shortening social costs, economy regimes, budget cuts are symbols of an attempt to further deregulation in other sectors of economy and thus providing satisfactory ground to shadow economy and criminal practices. As the case with high corruption level and judiciary faults in Bulgaria are.

So – corruption and Judiciary system inadequacy in Bulgaria are answers to the sound bank system development. The first two are main area where crisis could express itself and it is more than evident. The mere fact that the EU authorities recommendations for improving the Bulgarian judiciary system are simply neglected shows that this system is guardian of the deregulation and corruption practices – hence functioning just the opposite to its natural role. 

How Bulgarian Judiciary Could Not Understand EU Messages

София ( 20 декември 2012)Започна заседанието на Висшия съдебен съвет за избора на главен прокурор. Съветът първо ще изслуша тримата кандидати, а след това ще гласува, използвайки електронна уредба."ВСС е пред голяма отговорност да проведе честен вот", каза в началото на заседанието министърът на правосъдието Диана Ковачева. Пресфото-БТА снимка: Асен Тонев(ЕЗ)

The English Language Sofia Weekly (http://www.novinite.com/) today published an article about EU reflections on New Chief Prosecutor Election in Bulgaria. Lets remind that after a series of controversial nominations for supreme judges and other judiciary leaders in Bulgaria. together with scandalous EU funds fraud case “Stoykov-Nikolov” developments in judiciary were put on close monitoring. So, on 22 December a new signal has come on this issue …

EC Says New CVM Report on Bulgaria May Arrive Any Time

The European Commission follows closely Bulgaria’s judiciary and home affairs, with a new Cooperation and Verification Mechanism report possible at any time, an EC spokesperson has stated.

Spokesperson Frederic Vincent’s comment follows the controversial election of judge Sotir Tsatsarov as the Balkan country’s next chief prosecutor.

Vincent has told the Bulgarian National Radio that the EC will not comment on the new chief prosecutor personally. He reminded that EC spokesman Mark Gray recently expressed the Commission’s expectations very clearly.

Gray said that the Commission would closely watch the vote for new chief prosecutor and will prepare a report on Bulgaria’s results in judicial reforms, corruption combat and organized crime.

Gray pointed out that this was not an additional interim report, though local media cites sources from Brussels as saying the European Commission was very close to such a decision.

This was the second time in the last two months when the European Commission has warned Bulgaria over controversial judicial appointments.

The European Commission warned at the end of October that Bulgaria might face an interim report on justice and home affairs in case “the situation requires it.”The warning came after Parliament ignored strong criticism from Brussels, covered up tipoffs against one of the candidates and elected the 2 constitutional judges from their quota, triggering an unprecedented scandal.