Vezhdi Rashidov, head of parliamentary Committee on Culture and the Media:
Capital is least qualified to serve as a pillar of free speech
12 January, 2018
Capital is the least qualified to serve as a pillar of free speech, Vezhdi Rashidov, former minister of culture and current chairperson of the National Assembly's Committee on Culture and the Media, told the daily newspaper Monitor. His comment about the struggling website of oligarch Ivo Prokopiev was prompted by the recent meeting organised by the media outlets of the Capital clique's Fake News Factory and the scandal that erupted after no journalists outside of the group serving the oligarchy's interests were allowed access to the event.
“People funded by grants have no right to speak of freedom of speech,” Rashidov was indignant, adding that there are no laws restricting the media in Bulgaria. “People who take money are not free, they are the ones who are dependent,” he is adamant. According to Rashidov, those who are least independent always talk about freedom of speech the most. “No one just gives out money, there is always something expected in return,” Rashidov added in connection with the now infamous meeting that brought together a bunch of oligarchs, many of whom are indicted publishers, such as Ivo Prokopiev and Ognyan Donev.