Is Rule of Law an Oxymoron in Bulgaria?
During the past week, the Lukoil saga reached a new peak with several twists and turns surrounding the revoked, and later reinstated through a Court's rule, license of the Russian-based company, owner of the only oil refinery in the country.
Politicians, economists, legal experts, journalists, Bulgarian and Russian, local and foreign, came one after another offering analysis and wisdom about the scandal that gripped Bulgaria in the middle of the hot beach season.
In the downpour of words, on the backdrop of violently shaking stock exchanges and economies of leading world powers, two statements went unnoticed and without much comment:
On Wednesday, Bulgaria's Commission for Competition Protection announced that on the explicit "request" of Economy and Energy Minister, Traicho Traikov, they have "self-referred" a probe to establish if there are cartel deals and abuse of the dominant position of Lukoil on Bulgaria's fuel market.
In a Friday TV interview, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, declared he assumes full responsibility in the Lukoil case since after discussing it with the Customs Head and the Finance Minister, he decided to give them a green light for the revocation of the license.
There is something deeply wrong about a country where State institutions "self-refer" work they are supposed to initiate, and do so on the request of someone from the cabinet, and where the country's leader orders the law to be enforced.
Two statements inconceivable in well-functioning States and true democracies...
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