Antoaneta Vasileva: KTB Became Inconvenient Because It Became the 4th Biggest Bank in Bulgaria
Antoaneta Vassileva is a Bulgarian economist and Professor in Global Economics and International Economic Relations at the University of National and World Economy (UNWE). She has been Dean of the International Economics and Politics Faculty of the UNWE since 2011.
Prof. Vassileva is the wife of Corporate Commercial Bank AD’s majority shareholder Tzvetan Vassilev.
Do you think your husband is guilty?
First and foremost – guilty of what? If you mean the mock criminal case, which they fabricated at the bidding of certain political circles aiming to destroy the bank of my husband, let us not forget that the presumption of innocence is a fundamental principle of criminal law. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Secondly, so far we are not familiar with any evidence in the ongoing case. The indictment is based on witness testimonials, whose integrity and depth of thought are dubious: it was already proven for some that they falsify signatures and documents. Thirdly, someone obviously is looking for a scapegoat for the errors of the transition and for many people the most convenient culprit is Tsvetan Vasilev.
Are you together currently and where?
Yes, we are together. My husband and I are at a place where we are treated with sympathy and respect. I even have invitations to read lectures at several universities.
Why, in your opinion, somebody is trying to destroy the Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB)? Who was inconvenienced by it and why?
There are people in Bulgaria who possess a unique destructive talent. People across the world respect those who work hard and create, while in Bulgaria – those who manipulate and rule with fake or bought diplomas. The attack against KTB was planned with the aim to plunder and sell its assets. But as it is said – the task has been completed, but the goal has not been achieved.
KTB became inconvenient because it became the fourth largest bank in Bulgaria. Because it gave credits to a large part of the potentially successful Bulgarian business, because it supported the Bulgarian culture, sport, science, etc. Certain circles didn't like this – for example the representatives of the “comprador capital”, of the pseudo-elite, who claims a certain standard of living without real values, of the politicians who do not like independent and strong national business, of the frustrated competitors and the dependent representatives of the bank regulator. Just watch who parades around the TV studios trying to convince the public that the bank must be be bankrupted and we will figure out who became so uncomfortable with KTB.
Who is afraid that Tsvetan Vasilev could make disclosures?
Do you ask yourself why he could make disclosures? Probably because many people shared secrets with him or got favours from him.
Is your husband afraid for his life? What worries you the most?
Of course each of us worries that all his work is going down the drain. Much to our happiness, we get encouraging letters from all over the world – from friends, my former students and some colleagues. Truth is, we enjoy the most support from friends and supporters who are abroad.
What does Tsvetan Vasilev must do, in your opinion – to come back to Bulgaria or remain abroad and why?
Of course it is best if he comes back to Bulgaria. But in spite the numerous letters to the Chief Prosecutor asking for guarantees for his physical safety, we didn't get any. In spite the attempts to humiliate and villify Tsvetan Vasilev, he still has first, second and third best option.
What is the value of the property at the Geneva lake and how is it used right now?
The property at the Geneva lake is bought with a credit, covered by a mortgage, with a minimum participation of the owner and this is a standard practice in Switzerland. The house is in my name, but it is a common marital property. It is not in the name of a company or a foundation – a common practice of many of our compatriots. The property is diligently listed in my tax declaration. Someone apparently took the form to the offices of the Trud daily, seeking a cheap sensation. This is what the so-called “exclusive journalistic investigation” consists of. Everyone has the right to invest in projects, in shares, in real estate, etc., thus diversifying the risk.
My husband is one of the largest taxpayers in Bulgaria, with proven income, which many times exceed the family expenses. It is absurd that such investigations are initiated in a member state of the EU, which aims at providing freedom of movement of people and capital and claims to have freedom of commercial enterprise. Egalitarian thinking is embedded in the public consciousness in such a way, that it doesn't allow us to accept that every individual is different in their intellectual potential, financial means and entrepreneur abilities.
Is Tsvetan Vasilev's idea of sending in a structured offer on saving the bank still valid and what takes him so long?
I am witness to the incessant efforts of Tsvetan Vasilev to rehabilitate KTB. In the four months of the criminal-political attack against the bank, not a single day passed without him meeting an investor, partner, client or an interested party. He emphasized many times that the offers for restructuring KTB do not entail his participation in management or the capital structure of the bank, but are at the cost of his personal loss and readiness to provide additional assets, who are not part of the bank's. Those are the same assets that a certain legal office tried to acquire through falsification in the very beginning of the placing of the bank under conservatorship.
Are you familiar with the state and the management of the other businesses of your husband?
I have always enjoyed an independent development, different than my husband's. We have a family company, Trust Vasilevi, of which I am the CEO. I do not participate in my husband's business, because I am busy enough with my own work as a university professor and dean.
Which is the best case scenario, in your opinion?
The best case scenario is the rehabilitation of KTB. Currently everyone is losing.
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