Pseudo-ecologist serving Prokopiev spreads lies about Peevski

There are no ministers under the control of Peevski, there is a prime minister. That flabbergasting nonsense, part of the talking points of the oligarchy, was uttered by Vladislav Panev, a Sofia municipal councilor and an old associate of Ivo Prokopiev.

Naturally, the talking point appeared in a publication part of Prokopiev’s mainstream media machine. What utter nonsense! The right-wingers would have you believe that lawmaker and publisher Delyan Peevski is the one who “appointed” the premier of Bulgaria. Peevski is no more responsible for that than he is for the “appointment” of the Dalai Lama. The statement would have been funny if it was not part of the borderline fascist hybrid war that a handful of oligarchs and their steadfast tin soldiers (aka internet trolls) have been waging against Delyan Peevski.

The shameless lie about an existing connection between Peevski and Broissov has been denied by the premier on several occasions, not that that was even necessary since the facts speak for themselves. Personnel decisions for Borissov’s cabinets were made by Ivo Prokopiev. And that is not all – the oligarch has his fingerprints all over the last provisional cabinet, he pays protesters, influences appointments in the judicial system, writes talking points and lobbyist legislation. Prokopiev is the epitome of the behind-the-scenes clique in Bulgaria, his puppets and internet trolls shout in the mainstream media and pretend with great aplomb to be taking that same clique to task. What cynicism!

But let us not sound like we are throwing around unfounded allegations like the paid “analysts” of the Razgrad-Dubai-Belgrade coalition and provide some examples. Vladislav Panev, who speaks of that imaginary connection between Peevski and Borissov, is a municipal councilor in Sofia from the ranks of the so-called Democratic Bulgaria coalition of parties. He is co-chairman of the Green Movement, which despite its modest electorate of cheap-beer lovers is capable of doing a lot of damage. Indeed, it is doing a lot of damage. The movement in question is one of the screens hiding the green octopus in Bulgaria – pseudo-ecologists who stop public projects for billions and yet stay mum when it comes to the environmental crimes committed by the oligarchs.

So the green “politician” in question Vladislav Panev is part of the Democratic Bulgaria coalition in the Sofia Municipal Council (SMC), which also includes Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria (DSB) founded by Ivan Kostov and Yes, Bulgaria led by Hristo Ivanov. Nice, huh? They act more GERB than GERB members themselves on the municipal council, voting obediently alongside the GERB group. And yet they have the temerity to talk about a “secret coalition” between GERB and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. That is the opposite of nice; it is pure lie, or rather a dirty lie!

Vladislav Panev himself, who stepped up to repeat the talking points of Prokopiev’s mainstream media, is no ordinary figure. His story is more colourful than the LGBTQ flag, a community he hypocritically supports. It is rich as the collection of his appetising properties abroad and in downtown Sofia.

Being a green politician from a party with feeble voter support must be a more lucrative occupation that one would expect because Vladislav Panev is among the wealthiest councilors on the SMC. He has a 85 sq m (915 sq ft) apartment in the Dutch city of Tilburg worth BGN 356,935 (at least that is what his property statement says, but the value is sure to be higher than that). Panev also has 4-5 apartments and houses in Sofia. Some of them are rented out to immigrants from exotic destinations like Pakistan. He has declared ownership of shares and stakes to the combined tune of BGN 2,882,792.

Panev may be a former employee of Ivo Prokopiev, but it is clear that he continues to serve the oligarch on the down low. Some time ago, Panev surprisingly became the chairperson of Green Movement after other names like Toma Belev, Andrey Kovatchev, Petko Kovatchev and Petko Tsvetkov were speculated to be favourites for the position. Wonder whose protection is helping Mr Panev build a political career?

Here are the facts, you may decide for yourselves. Vladislav Panev’s business is entangled in interesting schemes and friendship with the Capital circle of oligarch Ivo Prokopiev. He is the owner of Sky Asset Management, which was incorporated in 2006 under the name Status Capital AD before it was renamed in 2013. Presently, the company manages the investment funds Sky New Shares, Sky Finances and Sky Global ETFs. A serious portion of the money of the Bulgarian pension funds has been invested in companies controlled by Vladislav Panev or Ivo Prokopiev, as a journalistic investigation of the newspaper Trud revealed.

According to the daily publication, over BGN 7.5m is invested in the Sky fund managed by Panev. The money comes from the pension funds DSK Rodina, Doverie and Saglasie. There is evidence linking the first two to the companies surrounding Ivo Prokopiev. Panev is also a former employee of the daily newspaper Dnevnik and a confidant of the oligarch.

Panev is clearly doing well in monetising his relationship with the master of the mainstream media machine, Prokopiev. He likes travelling to exotic destinations and flaunting those trips. He has been on holidays in Pakistan, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. He went on safaris with his wife in those countries, which is a pretty expensive pleasure that only the rich can afford. Panev has also been to Bali, East Timor, Sweden, Italy, Hungary, Russia and others. Spending $60,000-70,000 a year on exotic excursions is nothing for him.

This environmentally-conscious globe-trotter and servant of Prokopiev, who votes in unison with GERB in the SMC, is now talking about a “connection” between Delyan Peevski and Borissov. Maybe he was in Bali last week when Peevski’s party voted against the cabinet in the motion of no confidence? Even so, he has no right to lie. 

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