Ousted EconMin: Bulgaria's Top Diplomat Framed Me
Bulgaria's now-former Economy and Energy Minister, Traicho Traikov, who resigned Thursday evening, voiced bitterness about the way the entire affair developed.
In a Saturday interview for Darik radio's weekly political talk show, the ousted Minister said "someone" had misled Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, about the truth behind the flop of the Bulgarian-Qatari business forum in Doha.
Borisov, speaking Friday morning in an interview for the State TV BNT, said Traikov had been sacked because since the beginning of the term of his ruling party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, nothing has changed in the Bulgarian energy sector. The PM explained that the "icing on the cake," prompting the dismissal, had been the fiasco with the Bulgarian business forum in Qatar.
The forum began with a false start without even one Qatari businessman showing up before the anticipating representatives of over 100 Bulgarian companies.
"It did not make much sense to bring together Bulgarian and Qatari companies to seal deals. Qatar is a small country that does not count on such forums. The idea belongs entirely to Foreign Affairs Minister, Nikolay Mladenov. I was skeptical since day one, but he insisted and offered to take over the organization. His subordinates even refused our help. When I realized that no Qatari people were in the hall, I immediately notified Mladenov. It never crossed my mind to complain before the PM. I understand now that I did not do it, but Mladenov did" said Traikov.
The ex-Minister did not hide his utter disappointment from the country's top diplomat, saying until now he considered the later a friend and an ally.
"I was shocked to learn he blamed me and my Ministry for not doing the job," he stated.
In the BNT interview, Borisov said that it had been "extremely stupid" to open the forum in the morning which clashed with the "Arab tradition" and praised the Foreign Ministry for having a brilliant organization.
"I was heading to my meeting with the ruling Emir of Qatar, when I saw Traikov basking in the sun on the beach while Foreign Minister Mladenov was going crazy what to do. How would Arabs come to a forum at 10 am when their big boss is not there?" said the PM
When asked if it was true he went to the beach, the ousted Minister explained he had at least 120 witnesses that he had been the first one to show up at the forum.
"Everyone without exception went to the beach during breaks, and I see nothing wrong in it. My agenda was the busiest," Traikov pointed out.
To the host's question what would be Mladenov's motive to frame a friend, he replied that "there are moments in life when the temptation to find an excuse for own mistakes in someone else becomes too big."
Regarding his former Deputy and successor at the post, Delyan Dobrev, the dismissed Minister said he did not feel disappointed or betrayed in his case, adding that to the contrary, he encouraged him to take the post over the conviction Dobrev would be good at the job.
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