The outgoing year as seen by oligarchs and their satellite media: Delyan Peevski again and again

You will know them by their “overall assessments”

Delyan Peevski

How would you describe the outgoing year? Not in terms of your personal achievements but in terms of public interest involved. Here are some jokers. Apart from the two votes – for the European Parliament and local elections, the past year will be remembered by a series of arrests and indictments for the iconic shadowy businessmen of the transition period.

Or by the election of the new Prosecutor General retaliated against by all those who were, to say the least, “displeased” by the abovementioned arrests. And the logical consequence of the will which the state and the judicial power show in combatting organised crime and corruption after being under scrutiny for 12 years. Now the European Commission proposed to lift the monitoring for Bulgaria. For the first time our country will not come in package with Romania. There was no such proposal for our northern neighbour.

However, how does stocktaking look for the oligarchs and their satellite media? If we chose to trust the statements and articles published in their publications of the last days of 2019 they all boil down to just one name – Delyan Peevskiand… again Delyan Peevski.

Quite predictably, Tsvetan Vassilev, the fugitive banker who syphoned off billions from CorpBank, again is setting the tone. The man who for five years now has been hiding from “people’s love” and the Bulgarian justice system in neighbouring Serbia on Christmas eve has released a 12-minute video address which he himself ambitiously called “my overall assessment of 2019”, in which he mentions the name of the lawmaker and publisher of Telegraph Media at least once a minute. Vassilev’s (as well as the other Bulgarian oligarchs’) obsession with the topic has a logical explanation – the amendments to a series of normative acts initiated by the lawmaker and his colleagues in the parliament have forestalled the secondary plunder of CorpBank engineered namely by the fugitive banker to beimplemented by his acolytes in Bulgaria. They put an end to the mockery of the judicial power and fulfilled the wish of the Bulgarian community to see those who are to blame for the stolen billions punished. At least partially they managed to foil the attempts of Vasilev’s lawyers to delay the lawsuit against him and the rest of the defendants in the CorpBankcollapse case for years. They have ensured full transparency of financing for all media in Bulgaria. Against this backdrop, there is nothing surprising in the outburst of the fugitive banker who in fact just reiterates all of the fake news he has circulated against Peevski during the current year. All of them are nothing but lies not grounded in any fact and disproved hundreds of times. This, of course, doesn’t prevent the media sponsored by Vassilev to reiterate them again and again referring to his so-called “overall assessment.” As always at the forefront is Frognews, the site run by Ognyan Stefanov. We have to admit that agent Academician of the communist State Security shows enviable zeal in retranslating the talking points of his handler. But, as folk wisdom runs, money is always what really matters. The media which obviously exist thanks to the money stolen by Vassilev are by far not the only ones who released the so-called “overall assessment”. In the days just before Christmas, the editions of his prominent associate and indicted oligarch Ivo Prokopievhave also made it public. Prokopiev and, to be more accurate, his online edition Dnevnik, the content of which is in symbiotic relationship with Prokopiev himself, as it transpired from his e-mails sent to his media outlets, have made a contribution to the genre in the form of a “traditional end-year questionnaire”. According to the description accompanying this ample material the answers to this questionnaire gave the professor the New Bulgarian University Georgi Gochev. However, what the publication conveniently omits to mention is the fact that Gochev has been the contributing author of Dnevnik since 2013. And so,without any rhyme or reason, the name of Peevski surfaces again. Why? The question is rhetorical. And the answer to it may again be found in Prokopiev’s e-mails.  

The series definitely promises that the rest of the media financed by the Bulgarian oligarchs will also make a brilliant display of such materials. That is to say, you will know them by their “overall assessments.”

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