Bulgaria State Goes after Telecom for Unpaid Privatization DuesFinance | August 19, 2009, Wednesday // 18:03| views
Bulgaria Energy, Economy and Tourism Minister Traikov took part in the parliamentary discussions regarding ways to fill the budget deficit by collecting overdue privatization amounts. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency
Bulgaria's Finance Ministry will hire an international legal consultant to help with the EUR 80 M in privatization dues owed by Bulgaria's Telecom.
The case will be tried in Paris.
The news was reported by a Finance Ministry representative, who spoke during the Wednesday discussions regarding ways to fill the budget deficit by collecting overdue privatization amounts.
The members of the Parliamentary Economy Committee met Wednesday along with the Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, Traycho Traykov and two of his Deputies.
In July, the Agency for Post-Privatization Control filed suit against the Bulgarian Telecom BTK for failure to fulfill its investment program for 2006, especially the employment part of it. In addition, the Finance Ministry filed its own EUR 80 M suit.
According to the privatization contract, the State budget had to receive 10% of the surplus of over EUR 300 M in case the company was resold, which happened in May 2007, when the US based AIG gave BGN 2,1 B to the Irish billionaire, then owner of BTK. The State is yet to receive the 10% or EUR 80 M.
The Director of the Agency for Post-Privatization Control was also present at the meeting. She explained that a huge part of the owed privatization amounts could not be collected due to lack of property as collateral and companies that have already declared insolvency.
The Director pointed out that the shortage of lawyers to work on the cases was a major problem in collecting the money with 67 of them leaving the Agency since last year.
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