Bulgarian Astronomers Are Communists - FinMin

November 13, 2012, Tuesday // 07:24
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Astronomers Are Communists - FinMin
Over 2010 and 2011 BAS researchers and university professors held protest marches against govnernment cuts in spending for research and education. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov has lashed out at astronomy researchers from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for having requested proper funding.

"There is no money in Bulgaria's state budget for a subsidy of the Rozhen Observatory," stated Djankov Tuesday.

Earlier in November, the observatory - the largest in South-Eastern Europe - warned it will be forced to cease operations if it does not receive additional funds.

Prof. Tanyu Bonev, the unit's head, has said that the institution works with a budget amounting to little more than 70% of the minimum it needs for operation.

"The Rozhen Observatory belongs to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, which has its own budget and is to decide how to spend its money," said FinMin Djankov Tuesday.

Since assuming office in 2009, Djankov has launched a relentless campaign against BAS, cutting its budget to with some 40%, and not refraining from vitriolic attacks against its alleged ineffectiveness.

"BAS has only showed again that they can't make real reforms, and only rely on the state like it was under the communist regime," commented the observatory case the Bulgarian Minister of Finance.

According to Djankov, the Rozhen Observatory has issued similar calls in the past in trying to wring the government's hands, and will actually not shut down.

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