Bulgaria's Tobacco Unions Call on EconMin to Step Down
The trade unions of employees in Bulgaria's tobacco industry have demanded the resignation of Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski over what they describe as his "passive" behaviour to the developments at major tobacco holding Bulgartabac.
In an open letter, unions allege his inaction led to the closure of a tobacco plant in Sofia as of April 01 this year which has left 420 people jobless.
The closure stems from a decision of Bulgartabac to halt exports of cigarettes and other products to the Middle East as of the same date.
The latter move is putting into jeopardy the livelihoods of tens of thousands of tobacco growers in Bulgaria as the Middle East constituted a key market for the company.
Bulgartabac, however, says it has become the target of allegations that is has been smuggling cigarettes into Turkey.
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