Left Menu
Development News Edition

Bulgarian farm minister resigns amid guest houses probe

Bulgarian farm minister resigns amid guest houses probe
Image Credit: Flickr

Bulgarian Agriculture Minister Rumen Porozhanov resigned on Tuesday, the latest high-level official to step down in scandals involving purchases of luxury properties and the building of guest houses with EU aid for private use. Porozhanov quit two weeks after prosecutors launched a large-scale probe into possible fraud with EU rural development aid at over 700 guesthouses.

The probe has touched a nerve in the Balkan country, ranked as the EU's most corrupt member state in the 2018 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International. Despite numerous political pledges to reduce graft, the country has yet to sentence a high-level official over corruption. Local media reported that Porozhanov bought a spacious apartment in 2004 at well below market price. Other reports said he had failed to properly declare real estate deals carried out by his wife in 2017.

Porozhanov has denied any wrongdoing and told Prime Minister Boyko Borissov he did not want the attacks against him to influence the work of the centre-right government, the government press office said in a statement. Porozhanov was in charge of the State Agriculture Fund at a time when millions of euros were given as subsidies.

A deputy economy minister had to quit his post last month and was charged with crimes against the financial interest of the EU after media reports said he and his family were the only users of an expensive holiday estate built with EU aid. Borisov had previously praised Porozhanov's work at the farm ministry and has said his property purchases happened too long ago to be linked with his post.

But another media report on Tuesday said Porozhanov had not sacked a deputy head of the State Agriculture Fund whose phone number appeared as a contact for a guest house, despite the prime minister's order to let her go. "If he wants to protect someone ... I have said very clearly, we do not make compromises to anyone," Borissov told reporters.

Media reports said close relatives of politicians across the political spectrum have taken EU subsidies for such houses, worrying Bulgarians who are frustrated by high-level graft and the impunity of the political elite. In March, the justice minister and two deputy ministers were forced to quit their jobs over a real estate deals scandal dubbed "Apartment gate" which rocked the European Union's poorest member state.

The scandal has affected support for the ruling centre-right GERB party ahead of the EU elections, putting it a close second behind the opposition Socialists. Borissov, who took office for a third time two years ago, said he would bring to justice any wrongdoers but would not resign if his party wins fewer EU seats than the opposition.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



Future of Food: Technology fostering the road to global food security

Technological innovation can help address most of the pressing issues facing the world today including food security by enhancing productivity, improving financial services, managing resources, addressing environmental concerns, etc....

Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Now it’s a war, Uganda deploys army to combat locust swarms

Its for the first time after 1986, the locust swarms have attacked Uganda twice in a season. With the increasing number of countries of Africa under attack by locust swarms, the problem seems to have taken a regional paradigm. Its very diff...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...


Latest News

Klopp salutes 'special' Liverpool after record-equalling 18th successive win

Liverpool, Feb 25 AFP Jurgen Klopp admitted he never expected Liverpool to make such a special charge towards the Premier League title after a record-equalling 3-2 victory against West Ham left the runaway leaders four wins from the clinchi...

Wilder will reportedly seek rematch with Fury

Los Angeles, Feb 25 AFP Deontay Wilder plans to activate his rematch clause for a third fight with Tyson Fury after his seventh-round TKO loss to the Briton, US media reported. Yahoo Sports reported Wilder would seek a rematch -- and that h...

Tearful Michael Jordan commemorates 'little brother' Kobe Bryant

A tearful Michael Jordan remembered his little brother Kobe Bryant at a star-filled memorial in Los Angeles for the basketball great and his daughter Gianna, who died with seven others in a helicopter crash last month. When Kobe Bryant died...

Liverpool sink West Ham for record-equalling 18th successive win

Liverpool, Feb 25 AFP Liverpool earned a record-equalling 18th consecutive Premier League win as the runaway leaders came from behind to beat West Ham 3-2 thanks to Sadio Manes late strike. Jurgen Klopps side were in danger of dropping Prem...

Give Feedback