Bulgarian FinMin Sacked for Delaying Grain Producers Pay

Politics » DOMESTIC | February 18, 2013, Monday // 14:32| Views: | Comments: 9
Bulgarian FinMin Ousted for Delaying Grain Producers Subsidies: Bulgarian FinMin Sacked for Delaying Grain Producers Pay Ousted Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, was known as the member of the Cabinet stirring the strongest conflicts. Photo by BGNES

The official grounds for the ousting of Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, is his decision to delay with up to two months the payment of subsidies to grain producers.

Djankov told recently Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, his Ministry has never promised to pay the subsidies in January, which enraged the latter, the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, reported Monday.

On February 8th, the Finance Minister declared that the only options in the budget to pay the subsidies were mid-March and the rest at the beginning of April, "despite any possible protests."

In the aftermath, the grain producers threatened to stage large-scale rallies in downtown Sofia.

Borisov, who is known to hate protests, promised them the money will be received by February 22. He has met with Deputy Finance Minister, Vladislav Goranov, Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, and representatives of grain producers' associations, where he pledged the funds will be secured or Djankov will be let go.

Simeon Djanov held the post since the government of Borisov's Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, took office in the summer of 2009.

Before being invited by Borisov to take over the country's finances, he worked as economist at the office of the World Bank in Washington DC.

It was reported then that during conversations between the two, Djankov impressed Borisov with his "original proposals to rescue Bulgaria from the financial crisis."

The Monday news about the ousting stunned many Bulgarians as Djankov was one of the favorite ministers of Borisov and enjoyed his firm support. The PM often praised him locally and across Europe for maintaining strong fiscal discipline.

Djankov was also known as the Minister stirring the strongest conflicts and triggering demands for his resignation by the opposition, the business, healthcare professionals, scientists and researchers from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, BAS.

At the end of 2011, Borisov threatened Djankov with dismissal over his statements for the media that the Agriculture Minister was the most difficult one to work with.

The first conflict erupted when the Minister labeled BAS people "old feudal lords." He later created a scandal with now-former President, Georgi Parvanov, by calling him a "young billionaire" and cutting the budget of the Presidential Office.

Djankov also stirred a conflict with the other Deputy PM, Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, over leaked wiretaps of conversations between Borisov and the Customs Agency Chief; he told the opposition in the Parliament they could not vote because they were "drunk;" outraged retirees and mothers by refusing to update the money they receive, and caused wide-spread indignation by imposing interest rate on bank deposits.

The resignation also came after large-scale protest rallies against high electricity and heating bills took place across Bulgaria Sunday, with hundreds of thousands of outraged citizens taking on the streets.

The reshuffle happens just months before the general election and in the aftermath of an unseen so far number of other such dismissals and replacements.

According to BNR, Djankov is not in the country at the moment.

Regional Minister, Lilyana Pavlova, who is the highest rated minister in the Cabinet Borisov, is to take over the Deputy PM duties, while the Minister for the Management of EU Funds, Tomislav Donchev, is to be elected Finance Minister.

Pavlova is to keep the Regional Minister post and Donchev will hold two jobs.

His resignation brings the total of the ministerial reshuffles in the GERB Cabinet to 14, 9 of whom have been dismissed.

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Tags: Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, Vladislav Goranov, grain producers, subsidies, Djankov, Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, election campaign headquarters, Regional Minister, Lilyana Pavlova, minister, Cabinet, Borisov, deputy pm, Minister for the Management of EU Funds, Tomislav Donchev, GERB, resigned, Simeon Djankov, finance minister, Deputy Prime Minister, PM, Boyko Borisov
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» To the forumComments (9)
Ivanko - 19 Feb 2013 // 03:40:36

Speaking about being stupid:
"For once, Bulgaria has a PM, who doesn't give a dime about his personal gains."

"Uncle B is a politician, not a book-keeper."

A politician working for a few hundreds of levas who doesn't give a dime about his personal gains.
Do you really believe yourself?

If you were talking about Khaddaffi I could understand your point of view. But in Europe? In Bulgaria?

Al - 19 Feb 2013 // 00:16:08

Very interesting.

Uncle B is a politician, not a book-keeper.

The book-keeper failed to pay the debts in due time and, Uncle B smacked him.

What's your problem?

For once, Bulgaria has a PM, who doesn't give a dime about his personal gains.

And you want to blame him?

Are you all frecking stupid?

STFU or come up with something better.

Just my two stotinki

Ivanko - 18 Feb 2013 // 20:50:44

What did he do, what positive effect is there to say he was the most competent?

What did he improve?

Chushki - 18 Feb 2013 // 20:20:47

Yeah Ivanko, lets go backwards and have a Commie-Turk-Kuneva government with Plamen Oresharski in charge of Finance and see what the results will be - the same as last time: siphoning of VAT by criminal groups, allegedly with the help of senior National Revenue Agency, more road funding scandals, and the freezing of EU funding. I bet you cant wait!

Thenonymous - 18 Feb 2013 // 20:20:11

He was the best thing this government had going for it.

Ivanko - 18 Feb 2013 // 19:32:17

For forward thinking Bulgarians?

Must be difficult, going backward and thinking forward.

Djankovs policy is a fail on all levels. Anyone who does not see that should stay in the pub and drink a beer or 10.

villyman - 18 Feb 2013 // 18:48:45

He was not delaying pay but holding back subsidies because the Government had not yet received it from the EU. You can't pay what you haven't got without raiding the Piggybank.

A sad day for forward thinking Bulgarians.

Richie - 18 Feb 2013 // 17:40:25

I don't think a finance minister who thinks he can save money or reduce the deficit by delaying the payment of the state's bills can be called competent. He should have been fired when he tried to delay VAT returns a couple of years ago.

Chushki - 18 Feb 2013 // 14:59:08

Most competent minister in the government by far.

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