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Bulgarian report Bulgarian report
by Euro Reporter
2013-05-06 08:51:35
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Bulgaria's ex regional development minister probed by prosecutors 

Rumen Petkov, a member of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), has argued that former Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova is being investigated by the prosecuting authority in connection with the change of status of a plot of land on the Burgas beach. Speaking Saturday in the Black Sea city of Varna, Petkov, as cited by Standard daily, suggested that prosecutors were to establish whether Pavlova's actions constituted an administrative offence or malfeasance in office. He told journalists that the saga with the plot of around 1 decare under "The Old Frigate", a ship functioning as a restaurant on the central beach in Burgas destroyed by fire in May 2011, had started in 2012.

Petkov claimed that Konstantin Grebenarov, District Governor of Burgas, had received a request for the sale of the plot on October 22, adding that in order for the transaction to take place, the legal status of the land had had to be changed to private state property. Petkov informed that Grebenarov had asked the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works to change the legal status of the land on the very next day so that the sale could be finalized. He made clear that the Regional Development Ministry had rejected the motion, demanding a motivated opinion, which had been submitted on November 19. "This is where the series of crimes committed by Lilyana Pavlova starts. On October 25 she submitted this proposal for coordination with all ministries, together with a report and a draft decision of the Council of Ministers for declaring the plot private public property,"Petkov stated.

He noted that the Finance Ministry had refused to change the legal status of the property but Pavlova had failed to comply, breaching the rules of procedure by submitting the draft decision in its original form at the Council of Ministers sitting on December 12. He specified that the Finance Ministry representative attending the December 12 sitting had presented the objections of the institution and the government had returned the draft decision for revision to the Regional Development Ministry."Lilyana Pavlova, however, stuck to her guns, and on December 17 she submitted the same text without the corrections saying that the property was not to undergo a change of legal status or to be sold," Petkov argued. He claimed that Pavlova had failed to introduce the corrections, neglecting instructions of former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to give the District Governor ofBurgas the opportunity to sell the property. Petkov, former Interior Minister in the Socialist-led three-way coalitiongovernment, was adamant that Pavlova had to be declared guilty of malfeasance in office over the matter.


Bulgaria's Health Minister: I live with idea of being spied on

Bulgaria's caretaker Health Minister, Professor Nikolay Petrov, says he lives with the idea he is being spied on. Petrov made the admission Saturday speaking before bTV. He said the unauthorized snooping made him more ambitious to do a good job. Petrov labeled the raging "Watergate," scandal involving senior politicians and magistrates, "something ugly and dirty." He said no one could benefit from it. The Professor, a former Head of the Anesthesiology Unit of the Military Medical Academy in Sofia, was firm the extension of the term of the caretaker Cabinetwould not be a good scenario for Bulgaria and voiced hope the country will be able to form a government after the May 12 snap general elections.

"I am not a politician; I am an expert. Our term is short, and I will try to fix a number of things which could remain invisible. We are starting the Strategy for HealthcareDevelopment 2014 – 2020. We will fund psychiatric care, emergency care, and diagnostics; we will make decisions about job competitions for hospital directors and preventive care doctors, and about the planned limits for hospitals, with the hope our successors will come and do the right thing," said he.

Petrov pledged to not make comments and revelations about the healthcaresystem once he leaves politics as it would be an unprofessional thing to do. He admitted being outraged by the results of probes of Emergency and In-vitro Centers and some public renders. The caretaker Minister explained he missed his work as anaesthesiologist and his colleagues. "I never lost a patient on the operation table. Sometimes, despite being under general anaesthesia, people hear what is happening. The anaesthesiologist’s work is to make someone fall asleep, the awakening is the work of God," said Petrov.


US 'blacklists' Bulgaria over internet piracy

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has added Bulgaria to the list of States violating intellectual property rights. Three days ago, USTR released its annual "Special 301" Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of US trading partners' protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) and market access for persons that rely on IPR protection. Bulgaria has been placed on the Watch List due to severe deterioration of enforcement in the areas of government use of pirated software and piracy over the Internet, as well as denial of fair and equitable market access through the authorization and operation of copyright collecting societies.

Bulgaria was removed from the list in 2007 on grounds the country has improved protection of intellectual property and has passed adequate legislation in response of intensified partnership with the US. The "Special 301" Report is an annual review of the global state of IPR protection, enforcement, and market access, which USTR conducts pursuant to Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. 

USTR reviewed 95 trading partners for the 2013 Special 301 Report, and placed 41 countries on the Priority Foreign Country, Priority Watch List, or Watch List. 


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