Tusk and Radev turn down Fake News Factory's conference
The son of the murdered Maltese journalist also refused to be used by Prokopiev and his circle
16 May, 2018
President of the European Council Donald Tusk and Bulgaria's head of state Rumen Radev refused to be part of the propaganda campaign that the Fake News Factory's mentors Ivo Prokopiev, Tsvetan Vassilev, Ognyan Donev, and Sasho Donchev tried to organise on behalf of the Union of Publishers in Bulgaria. In reality, the association serves the interests of the behind-the-scenes clique in Bulgaria, along with Reporters Without Borders and the European Newspaper Publishers' Association (ENPA). The strategic event was held on 16 May, the day when Sofia was hosting a meeting of the European People's Party (EPP) and the day before an EU summit took place. It was disguised as a freedom of speech forum, when its true goal wasn't to identify the problems of European media outlets and journalists but to help legitimise the behind-the-scenes clique in Bulgaria and its Fake News Factory, with all its members, as the only protectors of freedom of speech and quality journalism. This is an absurd notion, considering the fact that it is the oligarchy that is polluting the country's public space with fake news in order to push the state back into the morass, discredit all its critics and allow Prokopiev and his circle to enhance their shadowy power, get pardon for their past crimes and once again plunder the public assets.
Tusk and Radev refused to participate in the manipulation, as did the son of the Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Galizia, murdered in 2017 - Matthew Caruana Galizia.
Foreign journalists attending the conference were talking about the problems existing in their countries in big-picture facts, like the phenomenon of media outlets not supporting themselves with their journalistic product but rather with money from their oligarchic publishers who made their fortunes in the energy sector (something that can be seen in Bulgaria too). Meanwhile, Teodor Zahov, who is a co-publisher of Capital together with Ivo Prokopiev (currently defendant in the EVN case), took the mask off at the outset of the forum. He opened the conference with the fake news that our publisher, MP Delyan Peevski, was never investigated in relation to the collapse of CorpBank, even though he was “involved with the scheme”. This is a favourite talking point of the Fake News Factory under his and Prokopiev's control; one that we have disproved hundreds of times with facts. And not only we but also the investigators, who incriminated 20 people now charged with the heist of the 20th century, including Tsvetan Vassilev. Or just look at the information from AlixPartners, which was hired to track down the billions that the fugitive banker embezzled from CorpBank.
Still, Zahov followed that up with another fake news - that the case against one of the members of the “oligarchic publishers' club”, Ognyan Donev, was a form of repression and that, because of a hearing in the case, the pharmaceutical tycoon could not attend the conference. Naturally, Zahov conveniently omitted the fact that Donev has been charged with tax evasion for tens of millions of levs and that he is the only publisher to have publicly admitted to giving an editorial order - for his website Club Z and his eponymous magazine not to cover the pharmaceutical sector. This is why there is no trace of reporting about the parallel exports of drugs, used for the draining of Bulgaria's National Health Insurance Fund, to be found on the pages of these outlets.
The forum, which was covered live by some of the main cogs in the Fake News Factory - Mediapool, Club Z and Sega, saw the reiteration of another of the Factory's masters' favourite talking points - about Bulgaria plummeting in the Reporters Without Borders ranking. Just how little the list uses reliable data was exposed by the statement made by OSCE representative Matthijs Berman. He shared that two-thirds of journalists in his native Netherlands complained last year about receiving threats. Meanwhile, the country is ranked third in media freedom, climbing two spots in that same period.