New Jersey Property Drains Millions from Bulgarian Treasury
Thousands of Bulgarian agencies and offices abroad are draining the State treasury in many hard to believe ways, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, told his ministers.
Borisov spoke during the Council of Ministers meeting, giving as an example a State residency in New Jersey in the US, owned by Bulgaria, which is prime real estate with a pool in an upscale neighborhood.
The PM said the property has been used by the member of the former Communist cabinet (Politbureau), Petar Mladenov, for his stay in the US one to two weeks each year in the 80s, but it is now abandoned, in a deplorable state, and has accumulated USD 30 M in fines over the lack of management such as having the grass cut regularly.
Borisov pointed out if he owned a luxury house in New Jersey, he would have been a millionaire by now from rent and sublets to embassies and socialite events, but currently the property is in such condition and the fines are so staggering that the State can never sell it for profit.
"I saw with my own eyes something unbelievable – our Consul General in New York, whose residency costs the State USD 5 000 a month for rent, asked for USD 20 000 upfront to do repairs at the Consular building and set small living quarters inside and was refused. He was told – we can give you USD 5 000 a month, but we cannot give you USD 20 000 so that you can save us USD 40 000 per year. And this is some clerk, some bureaucrat sitting at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, totally oblivious to the financial hardships we face every day," an outraged Borisov told his colleagues, the meeting's shorthand notes show.
The PM pointed other examples with mismanaged properties abroad - apartments and offices, including a castle in Switzerland, adding he wanted all those responsible to be sacked.
"This is why I support Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov's strategy of severe cuts. Only then you will understand. When you find out there is no money for your own salaries, you will be forced to look around, dig and fire those who have done and continue to do the damage," Borisov warned the cabinet members.
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