Capital circle's last talking point is now history
State-owned Bulgarian Posts assigned the newspaper distribution for next 10 yearsTelegraph Media , Sofia
The last talking point of the Capital circle, regarding newspaper distribution in Bulgaria, has become history. According to its decision from 27 May, the Council of Ministers assigns to Bulgarian Posts to take part in the distribution of print publications for the next 10 years.
De facto the decision means that the state will guarantee normal functioning of the distribution market. It also puts an end to manipulations spread for years by the Capital circle of indicted oligarch Ivo Prokopiev and the mainstream media of the behind-the-scenes clique in Bulgaria, which claim that there is a monopoly over the distribution and this is the reason why the publications run by the oligarchs are working at a loss. The talking point was floated in order to justify the lack of readers' interest in their editions. This lack of interest is an established fact for years, and the reason for it is that the readers have long realised that the media outlets sustained by Prokopiev & Co peddle only and solely manipulations and lobbyist texts, written at the dictation of their owners. In order to manipulate public opinion and build up an image of a victim, this circle has been forever using a ploy - spreading fake news that lawmaker and publisher of Telegraph Media Delyan Peevski took part in the print media distribution in Bulgaria. This is a lie not grounded in any facts and evidence, and it can be exposed after an elementary check in the commercial registers. The oligarchic publishers, however, use it as a fig leaf to explain the lack of interest in their publications. Now that the state has already assumed the role of a guarantor for the print media distribution, this fact will become even more apparent. The question is how these same oligarchs will now explain that there is “private monopoly” over the distribution of newspapers. Or, to be more accurate, what new reason will they find for explaining the naked truth - no one wants to waste money and buy their newspapers only to read their fake news.
Following is the decision of the Council of Ministers:
The government has assigned to Bulgarian Posts EAD to provide services of general economic interest regarding the distribution of print media on the territory of the entire country for a period of 10 years. The measure is taken with a view to encouraging pluralism of the press and freedom of speech. The assignment in no way will limit competition and will not deprive any legal entity of its right to negotiate freely with publishers or distribution points of sale.
Bulgarian Posts EAD guarantees all quality parameters related to the access on equal terms, timely delivery and distribution on the entire territory of Bulgaria. The company ensures equal treatment and availability of price setting to all participants in the form of discount from the corresponding cover price: 25% for publishers, 35% for wholesale dealers, 15% for retailers, 30% of the catalogue price of the corresponding edition for the delivery of subscriptions.
Compensation for the distribution of newspapers and magazines will be in compliance with the European legislation related to the provision of services of general economic interest.
The additional budget expenditures of the ministry have also been approved. They will be allocated for the provision of services of general economic interest by Bulgarian Posts EAD related to the distribution of print periodicals.