Bulgaria's Corrupt Science Fund to Undergo Total Repair

February 12, 2013, Tuesday // 07:57
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Corrupt Science Fund to Undergo Total Repair
Bulgaria's Minister of Education and Science Stefan Vodenicharov. Photo by BGNES

Six members of Bulgaria's notorious Science Fund have resigned and more are on their way, announced new Science and Education Minister Stefan Vodenicharov.

"The internal regulations of the Fund must be completely rewritten, something that our team will imminently do," said Vodenicharov at a meeting between members of cabinet and representatives of Bulgarian research institutions.

The scandal around the Bulgarian Science Fund had been simmering for more than a year, as information about systematic abuse of resources and break of regulations leaked to the press.

Then, Minister of Education Sergey Ignatov chronically refused to acknowledge any problems with the fund, when questioned by the public or parliament.

His stance was not censured by PM Boyko Borisov until January 28, when he asked for Ignatov's resignation right after a controversial national referendum on nuclear energy.

"If I were responsible for that, I would cancel all procedures performed and grants given by this Fund, but this is up to you now," said Borisov Tuesday, addressing Vodenicharov.

On his part Vodenicharov said that he has already identified projects that will have to return their grants as illicitly obtained.

Academician Stefan Vodenicharov was elected to preside the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Bulgaria's top research institution - months before he was called to take the position vacated by Ignatov.

He is on a 4-month leave from the Academy and will have to abandon the ministerial position ahead of July elections, if he wants to retain the BAS chairmanship.

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