EC Rebuts Reports of Accusing Bulgaria's GERB of EU Funds Freeze
Ognyan Zlatev, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Sofia, is emphatically stressing EC has not accused specific individuals or political parties for the temporary freeze of EU funds.
The reason for Zlatev's reaction is an earlier publication in Bulgarian media, citing the news agency BGNES that EC has written in a letter that temporary suspension of payments under the EU Operational Program "Environment" was the fault of ministers from Bulgaria's former government of Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party (GERB).
Zlatev has sent a counter letter, firmly rejecting the above.
"To say something like that is a complete distortion of facts; more so because in the EC letter from November 27, by which the Commission formally informs the Bulgarian authorities of the suspension and the measures to be taken, names are not mentioned," writes Zlatev.
He explains the letter is only referring to systems that are not functioning properly, not to individuals. Zlatev underscores the projects that EC auditors pointed to as having possible irregularities concern the years 2008, 2009 and 2010, meaning that no particular political party or a specific government can be singled out as the sole responsible entity.
Before GERB took office in the summer of 2009, Bulgaria was ruled by the so-called Three-Way Coalition between the current government partners, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the predominantly ethnic-Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), along with the party of former Tsar and Prime Minister, Simeon Saxe-Coburg, National Movement for Stability and Prosperity, (NMSP or NDSV in Bulgarian).
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