Bulgarian GERB MP Probed for 'Forestry Act Lobbyism'

Politics » DOMESTIC | June 26, 2012, Tuesday // 10:38
Bulgarian GERB MP Probed for Conflict of Interests after Forestry Act: Bulgarian GERB MP Probed for 'Forestry Act Lobbyism' Sofia recently became the center of mass rallies of opponents to a set of amendments to the Forestry Act facilitating construction works. Photo by BGNES

Emil Dimitrov, Member of the Parliament from Bulgaria's ruling party GERB, is being probed by the Parliamentary Committee on Conflict of Interests.

Speaking for the Bulgarian Trud (Labor) daily, the Chairman of the Committee, Filip Zlatanov, declined offering details, only informing that the probe is connected to amendments to the Forestry Act, the Hunting and Game Preserving Act, and the Farming Lands Act.

After experts collect evidence, Dimitrov will be summoned to a hearing to present his side of the story.

The GERB MP firmly denies being involved in conflict of interests and lobbyist legislation, stressing he had no idea about the probe and no official information from the Committee, which gave him grounds to decline further comments.

Just days ago, the former Deputy Agriculture Minister from the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, Georgi Kostov, in an interview for Mediapool, noted that Dimitrov was in "serious conflict of interests" such as proposing to share the game concessions profits among all game and hunting estates and farms instead of only among those owned by the State.

"This is the same as the landlord having to give money back to the tenant. But the amount here is BGN 5 M a year," Kostov said.

Dimitrov is a former concessionaire of two of Bulgaria's largest hunting estates. In 2010, he was involved in a scandal revolving around a swap deal with public lands before he entered the Parliament.

The MP is also seen as the mastermind behind the controversial Forestry Act that resulted in mass protests in the capital Sofia.

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Tags: protests, concession, estate, hunting, game, Act, amendments, Filip Zlatanov, probe, conflict of interests, Forestry Act, Emil Dimitrov, Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister, swap, GERB, MP

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