Reuniting Europe

This is the title of Bulgarian daily “24 chasa” yesterday (25 April). I thought this was a decent newspaper, but I was wrong. The article was included in the daily press review of the European Commission (see photo).

I know how the Bulgarian press works. This is a publication commissioned from very high places, which the newspaper had no other choice but to write according to specifications from the client and publish.

The aim of the publication is to discredit the European Commission. Without any doubt people in high places fear that messages from the Commission could make them feel very uncomfortable ahead of the 12 May early parliamentary election.

So whatever the Commission will say, they would respond: “Before you accuse us, look at yourselves, you bunch of Maoists, Communists and totalitarian secret police agents!”

Will badmouthing the enemy do the trick this time?

Those who commission such publications are from the former ruling party GERB, which is embroiled in an eavesdropping scandal of Biblical proportions.

Media in Bulgaria have dubbed the unfolding eavesdropping scandal “the Bulgarian Watergate”, alluding to the 1970s secret taping of the Democratic party headquarters, which led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon.

In recent developments, a minister from the GERB government, Miroslav Naydenov, confirms that all ministers and other personalities have been illegally spied by former Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who is the N.2 in the party after Boyko Borissov and the engineer of GERB’s election campaign.

The leader of the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party Sergei Stanishev, who is also leader of the Party of European Socialists (EPP), called Tsvetanov “toxic to Bulgarian politics”. He also said that the support of the European People’s Party (PES) to GERB had become “untenable”.

Meanwhile, an eavesdropping recoding was sent anonymously to several Bulgarian media, including to the daily Sega where I have worked for several tears. The audio file, the authenticity of which leaves no doubt, features Borissov, Naydenov and Sofia’s prosecutor Nikolai Kokinov. Leaving aside the many cynicisms in their gangsters’ language, this is what is been said:

Naydenov complains to Kokinov that he is been harassed by the prosecution (Naydenov is in the centre of several corruption cases. I have reported about one).

Kokinov too complains to Naydenov that he is not in command any longer, that somebody is trying to isolate him from the important issues.

Naydenov says he had asked Borissov who is after him. He adds Borissov told him it is probably Tsvetanov.

Kokinov replies that in fact this is probably the recently elected prosecutor general Sotir Tstatsarov. He adds that Naydenov’s case is been hidden from him, so he cannot help.

Borissov arrives. Kokinov complains to him as well about the “repressions” which he suffers. He tells Borissov he wants to be moved from Sofia prosecutor to the job of Appellate prosecutor. Follows a long exchange in which they discuss the homosexual inclinations of various magistrates.

Borissov asks Naydenov for advice regarding the court proceedings against Naydenov.

Naydenov says he is not optimistic and warns Naydenov that the woman he lives with has been promised a plea bargain if she testifies against him.

Borissov interevenes and says he warned Naydenov about that woman. (She is one of the beneficiaries of the Twitter-Facebook affair.)

Before leaving, Kokinov gives Borissov the results of prosecution inquiries which are not yet made public.

At the end, Borissov tells Naydenov that his problems are serious, because there is European money involved.

As I was writing this text, Kokinov resigned, following a meeting with Prosecutor General Tsatsarov. It also became known that the recording was made on 15 April in Borissov’s house.

Borissov basically confirmed that the conversation took place, blaming “parallel structures” for being “impudent enough” to spy in his house.

A suivre…

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