Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov commented today (27 June) allegations that he had bought a Greek island, saying that if they would be proven, he would resign. In parallel, a scandal about media freedom unfolded. Georgi Gotev has the story.
Speaking to selected Bulgarian journalists on 24 June Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov reacted furiously to publications in Greek media, alleging that he had bought a Greek island.
“The Greek media broke the news that I bought an island in Greece. Dirty tabloid liars! Bastards!”, Borissov was quoted as saying in the fringes of the mini-summit in Brussels.
In the meantime a TV talk show of journalist Milen Tzvetkov dedicated to this topic was put down. The Nova TV channel running the show released instead the previous edition, without mentioning that it was a re-run.
Today Borissov made an emotional introduction ahead of today’s regular cabinet meeting, conveying the message that this was not censorship.
“Please don’t involve my name. There is no censorship at all. You an release whatever you want. But don’t involve my name”, Borissov is quoted as saying.
Later Borissov posted in Facebook:
“Neither me nor any of my team has interfered with Nova TV editorial policy or any media. The media have the freedom to release what they think. I appeal to clarify the truth with the unreleased talk show and stop involving my name. Censorship and self-censorship are equally detrimental to journalism. I hide nothing from my activities”, Borissov said.
Officially, Borissov has no fortune. His former partner Tzvetelina Borislavova, the daughter of an embassy accountant, became a banker and has a fortune estimated at €150 million.
The opposition BSP jumped on the occasion to attack Borissov for mismanaging the country.
“The Prime Minister Borissov took the whole of Bulgaria, and has he bought an island or an archipelago, it’s for the law-enforcement to investigate”, said Elena Yoncheva, an MP from the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP).
“The main issue is where do the billions disappear”, said Yoncheva. She said that people in Bulgaria talks about massive corruption at the highest levels of power and schemes for embezzling public money. “We are talking about billions, billions”, she said, mentioning the flawed computer system of the national customs, identified by the State agency for national security (DANS) which helped siphon billions and erase records of goods having entered Bulgaria.
To add insult to injury, a prominent journalist from the national TV channel BNT, Maria Cherneva, was forced to resign after what she said was a “public execution” on her. Cherneva has reportedly been accused by her hierarchy of being sympathetic with the protesting parents of children with disabilities. Reportedly Borissov is very concerned that these protests could give ammunition to his political adversaries.