Bulgarian Police Part with Scandalous Private Donations

Politics » DOMESTIC | August 15, 2011, Monday // 13:48
Bulgarian Police Part with Scandalous Private Donations: Bulgarian Police Part with Scandalous Private Donations Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, has signed an order intended to put an end to the much criticized donations to police made by private companies and individuals. Photo by BGNES

The Interior Ministry will no longer accept donations from private businesses and individuals after the institution's head, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, signed the order banning donation contracts.

The order, signed Monday, is going to become effective on September 1, 2011.

The few exceptions will include donations from local municipalities and State-owned structures and companies.

The public register of key police donors after January 1, 2011 will be functional beginning October 1.

The European Commission condemned the corrupt donation practice in its report on Bulgaria under the cooperation and verification mechanism, causing Prime Minister Borisov to pledge that the occurrence would be eradicated. In an interview last week, however, Tsvetanov specified that donations would be phased out gradually, rather than rooted out at once.

Last week, the European Commission Spokesperson Mark Gray, once again, condemned the practice of Bulgaria's Interior Ministry of accepting donations.

"Each donation to the Interior Ministry is unacceptable, be it money or any kind of material valuables", Gray told Bulgarian Sega daily on August 10.

Tsvetanov initially refused to admit that the practice was reprehensible, saying that the Interior had not entered into any commitments in exchange for the donations which were thank-you gifts for a job well-done.

On August 8th, Sega wrote that the Bulgarian Interior Ministry has set a new record of donations, collecting another BGN 9 M in the second quarter of 2011.

The new funds, received under the form of donations from the country and abroad, collected on the backdrop of a global crisis, bring the total amount for the first half of the year to BGN 15.5 M with BGN 6.5 M from the first quarter of 2011, Sega pointed out.

Deputy Interior Minister, Dimitar Georgiev, immediately countered that for the first half of 2011, the Ministry had received BGN 15 270 925 from EU funds, but the money has been listed as donations, assuring all donors are subject to careful and detailed checks and have to sign a declaration that they don't have a criminal record.

At the time, Tsvetanov, further stressed speculations surrounding donations to the police are just part of the smearing election campaign, saying some media "serve particular political and business interests."

It was reported meanwhile that the Interior Ministry is set to file a Court claim against traffic police officer, Konstantin Ivanov, who revealed the umbrella policy of the institution towards traffic violations committed by its donors. Ivanov was recently forced to resign from his job with the Sofia Police Directorate.

On Friday, Deputy Interior Minister, Veselin Vuchkov reported that by the end of the year amendments to the Interior Ministry Act will be submitted with the Parliament, aiming at reducing cases of police brutality.

Police is also to create a network of teachers to counter hate crimes and excessive use of police force.

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Tags: Deputy Interior Minister, Veselin Vuchkov, exeptions, Bulgarian, police, donations, record, traffic police, traffic violation, traffic, ticket, interior ministry, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Boyko Borisov, donations, European Commission, cooperation and verification mechanism, Konstantin Ivanov, court, magistrates, Dimitar Georgiev, Sega, Konstantin Ivanov, European Commission, Mark Gray, cooperation and verification mechanism, donations
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