Negligible party serves oligarchy
Litigation time limit for the plundering of CorpBank, Dunarit and Petrol is not up
6 December, 2017
Steered by its figurehead leader and failed Minister of Justice Hristo Ivanov, the political party Yes, Bulgaria is actively working to serve the interests of oligarchs Ivo Prokopiev, Tsvetan Vassilev and the latter’s henchman Grisha Ganchev.
Pinocchio, as Ivanov has been dubbed because of his lies, recently put the party to use in the only way that benefits his behind-the-scenes masters – generating propaganda noise. To that end, he organised a pretentious event consisting of filing a request with the National Assembly for a probe into the Turkish security services’ report regarding the smuggling of tobacco products. This propaganda campaign, however, had an organisational flaw, as Yes, Bulgaria, on whose behalf the motion was filed, is not represented in parliament after getting the cold shoulder from voters in the last elections. Consequently, Hristo Ivanov’s access to parliament is restricted, as should be the case with every regular citizen, and so he was forced to submit the request in the legislator’s administrative building. As a result, the media throng sent by the Fake News Factory had to run around the building to cover Ivanov at least on his way out. The dreamed shot of Hristo Ivanov walking through the National Assembly’s halls remained only in the imagination of his shady masters. Nevertheless, the puppet politician managed to recite his talking points.
Hristo Ivanov explained how he was among those fighting the crimes committed during the privatisation process. You see, he criticised the wrongdoings even during the term of former prosecutor general Nikola Filchev. No one seems to recall that circumstance but this might be due to the fact that the newly-fledged right-wing politician went by his mother’s communist surname, Boykikev, at the time. Now under the name Ivanov, the figurehead party leader involved the name of a major and well-respected tobacco company in his attempts to destabilise Bulgarian institutions and create propaganda noise intended to draw attention away from his masters’ crimes. Asked the perfectly logical question why he is talking exclusively about the privatisation of Bulgartabac, while keeping silent on other controversial deals, such as the sale of Kaolin and Damianitza Winery (using former PM Ivan Kostov’s favourite method of employee buy-outs), Hristo Ivanov said that the time limit for litigation in those instances has expired.
However, the time limit has not run out for the offences connected to the secondary plundering of assets acquired with CorpBank depositors’ money, including Tsvetan Vassilev (aka the Bulgarian Madoff) gaining control over Petrol and Dunarit through figureheads. Naturally, Hristo Ivanov had nothing to say on that subject. There are some logical questions that the self-proclaimed political leader should answer. How can he claim to fight corruption when he is opposing the constitutional amendments aimed at lifting the time restrictions for bringing court proceedings regarding privatisation offences? Is it possible that he is actually trying to cover up the historically shady deals done during former PM Ivan Kostov’s term in office – the privatisation of the Kremikovtzi plant for $1 and the sale of the Balkan Bulgarian Airlines for an amount equivalent to the price of a three-bedroom apartment in Sofia. Is he not actually trying to also conceal the outrageous privatisation deals for Kaolin and Damianitza Winery struck by Ivo Prokopiev? The other important question – if he is truly focusing on deals for which litigation time limits have not expired, why is he ignoring the acquisition of CorpBank assets such as Petrol and Dunarit through fraudulent means?
Actually, the answers to those questions could be found in the transcripts of ARGO-gate, which reveal the aforementioned Hristo Ivanov secretly preparing the establishment of his party with the help of Ivo Prokopiev and his connections in the media and NGO sectors. When Prokopiev declares his willingness to help “with all the resources at his disposal”, the one being helped would probably not dare ask how he managed to acquire the previously state-owned Kaolin and Damianitza Winery, even after having changed one’s name from Boykikev to Ivanov. Regarding the grey funding for Yes, Bulgaria, the failed politician and his friends admit on the record that they rely on Tsvetan Vassilev. If the secondary plundering of CorpBank assets is stopped, then Yes, Bulgaria will not be able to rely on “grey funding” from Belgrade (where Vassilev is in hiding).
This explains why Hristo Ivanov is so vocal on certain topics and so quiet about others. Recent events have shown that whenever puppet politicians like him are too active, it is a sign that their behind-the-scenes masters are anxious. Prokopiev, Vassilev and Ganchev have good reason to be anxious and use their personal party Yes, Bulgaria as an instrument, as their shady deals and those of Ivan Kostov are finally close to being punished.Ministry of Interior: Bulgartabac is not mentioned in the reportContrary to what Hristo Ivanov is saying, Bulgartabac is not mentioned in the Turkish secret services’ report on smuggled tobacco products. This was confirmed by Minister of Interior Valentin Radev and Mladen Marinov, chief secretary of the Ministry of Interior. “I do not have the report in question on my desk. As far as I am aware, there is no mention of Bulgartabac in it, I have no idea why Bulgartabac is even being discussed,” Minister Radev said during a briefing of his department. Senior Commissioner Marinov shed some additional light on the subject. “The case concerns an annual report prepared by the Turkish secret services and submitted to Interpol. But the document does not contain the name Bulgartabac. It gives percentages and outlines trends but does not mention Bulgartabac. These are the facts, everything else is a matter of interpretation,” Marinov explained.