Peevski dragged into Bulgarian EU commissioner intrigue

Delyan Peevski

On 2 September the daily newspaper Sega published a critical analysis about Bulgaria’s EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, which has been nominated for a second term by the government in Sofia. The author of the piece, Svetoslav Terziev, opines that it is irrelevant what area the country is put in charge of via its spot on the European Commission, insinuating that Mariya Gabriel is unfit to do the job.

People are well within their rights to dislike Gabriel or be in awe of, say, Radan Kanev’s qualifications for the position of an EU commissioner. What sticks out like a sore thumb is the sharp turn that Terziev makes while listing the weaknesses (in his eyes) of Mariya Gabriel.

“Enamored with talking generalities, she failed to notice that the Bulgarian media environment does not meet basic European standards for the profession and never criticised the media empire of Delyan Peevski, an entity that caused Bulgaria to plunge disgracefully on freedom of speech rankings,” Svetoslav Terziev slyly implies.

Well, now we come to the point – so Mariya Gabriel is “unsuitable” because she does not blast Peevski! The propaganda talking point that Peevski somehow owns all media outlets in Bulgaria has long been dashed. Telegraph, Monitor, Politika, Meridian Match and the Monitor News Agency are the outlets he owns. On the other hand, Ivo Prokopiev has assembled a giant media empire working in obvious synchronicity with oligarchs like Sasho Donchev, Ognyan Donev and the fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev. All these gentlemen pay an army of journalists and pay them well. Just look at how many publications are attacking Delyan Peevski with absurd allegations – any well-educated consumer of media content can see what is happening. Where is this supposed Peevski empire? In the current media landscape, he looks more like someone surrounded by a pack of wolves. The pack’s weapons against him are the talking points formulated in “that Prokopiev e-mail” and the propaganda, in which the old journalistic agents such as Svetoslav Terziev are well versed.

It is remarkable how Sega, published by Sasho Donchev, who built his business empire thanks to natural gas trade, so easily brushes under the carpet former PM Ivan Kostov’s gas aspirations in Dobrudzha. “That money” of the modest pensioner Kostov that the National Revenue Agency is checking? Well, it was in his financial statement, nothing suspicious there. That must be what a democratic media approach is. That and Kostov, aka the Commander, does not like Peevski, which, using Terziev’s logic, should make the beleaguered lawmaker especially suited for EU commissioner.

Natural gas tycoon Sasho Donchev’s newspaper Sega has always stood out thanks to a somewhat elitist approach to the vicious war that a group of oligarchs in trouble with the law is waging against lawmaker and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski. It should not come as a surprise, given that the “sharp quill” of the low-selling publication Svetoslav Terziev has an extensive background in the former State Security, and more specifically – the department combating ideological diversion and other forms of subversion in terms of the artistic, creative and scientific elite of the country and the mass media.

In a nutshell, the old State Security staffers know what they are doing. Terziev was recruited as an agent in 1980 to the Sixth Directorate of State Security, known as the ideological police. It was not until 1988 that he was transferred to the First Main Directorate. He used aliases as Filip, Kamen and Kamenchev. In the aftermath of the 1989 political shifts, Terziev deftly disguised himself as a democrat.

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