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Bulgarian report Bulgarian report
by Euro Reporter
2010-03-22 08:23:26
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Bulgaria's ruling party ready with the grounds for motion to impeach the President

Ruling party GERB has started collecting signatures in Parliament to initiate an impeachment procedure against President Georgi Purvanov, Bulgarian media said on March 19 2010. After three hours of discussions, the five parties who said that they would sign in favour of starting the impeachment procedures against Purvanov agreed on the formal grounds for requesting it. The talks were held among representatives of GERB, the right-wing Blue Coalition, the ultra-nationalist Ataka party and the centre-right Order, Law and Justice party.

At the end of the talks, GERB's Krassimir Velchev told reporters that they were seeking Purvanov's impeachment on the basis of article 32 paragraph 2 of Bulgaria's constitution, which says that "no one shall be followed, photographed, filmed, recorded or subjected to any other similar activity without his knowledge or despite his express disapproval, except when such actions are permitted by law". The final version of the motives will be ready by March 24 2010. The motives can be tabled in Parliament only if the Prime Minister is in the country. Given that Prime Minister Boiko Borissov is scheduled to travel abroad next week - visiting Qatar and Kuwait from March 21 to 24, this is expected to delay the procedure, although Velchev said that GERB was determined to go ahead with it.

GERB decided to start the procedure after Purvanov posted online the transcripts of a March 5 meeting between himself and Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov. Dyankov said that he had not been informed that the meeting was being recorded which, according to GERB, was a violation of the constitution. At his March 12 news conference, Purvanov said that there could be no compromises as long an impeachment procedure against him was underway. "After the issue gets reviewed by the Constitutional Court we can start afresh," Purvanov said. A motion to start a debate in Parliament on impeaching the President needs to be supported by a minimum of 60 out of 240 MPs. To approve the motion and send it to the Constitutional Court, the ruling majority would need 161 votes.


Help needed for journalism group in Samokov

Peace Corps volunteer Ursula Kirk, serving in Samokov, is working with an NGO called Tolerance for Everyone. Its focus is on building peaceful and friendly relationships amongst the diverse youth of Samokov. Some of the young girls in the community would now like to start a journalism group and produce a monthly one page newsletter whereby they would write articles about local, national and international current events.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Ursula is helping them find ways to create this newspaper. In order to start the enterprise the group urgently needs a laser printer. Ursula wonders whether anyone out there would be willing to donate a printer.


Former state official sentenced to four years for abuse of funds

Assen Droumev, former head of the state Agriculture Fund, was sentenced to four years imprisonment on March 18 2010. The Sofia City Court found Droumev guilty of signing deals that were damaging to the Fund and for abuse of funds under the European Union Sapard programme.

Droumev had approved Sapard payments amounting to a total of 49 million leva, to 14 companies, who did not meet the criteria to receive such money. The money was supposed to be allocated to vegetable producers but instead went to importers of vegetables. He was also sentenced to pay 5000 leva in fines and cover the court's expenses for his trial. Droumev is also banned from taking a public position for the next seven years.

According to his defence, the projects in question had been audited by the European Commission which did not find the irregularities uncovered by Bulgarian prosecutors. This is Droumev's second sentence. In May 2009, he was sentenced to three years' probation for signing deals that cost the Fund's budget 480 000 leva. This sentence is pending appeal.

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