When Bulgaria's Tom Cats Wag the DANS-ing Dogs

Editorial |Author: Maria Guineva | October 29, 2009, Thursday // 17:17|  views

Anyone following the latest spearing match between Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and his predecessor, Socialist leader, Sergey Stanishev, spinning around the mystery of some vanishing classified information, must be drowning in the story's twists and turns by now.

Former PM Stanishev, allegedly, received a top secret report from the State Agency for National Security (DANS), took it out of the Council of Ministers building and concealed it in an attempt to protect some people from his closest circle. A year later, a former DANS agent, who used to advise a former DANS Director, gave Borisov the report, but it is unclear how the former agent got it. The former agent is no longer an agent because a former Interior Minister revealed his name during a meeting with two notorious former hopefuls to become Members of the Parliament, currently on trial over racketeering charges. The former Interior Minister was indicted for this and later acquitted. The former PM might also be indicted, but who knows...

Oh, and it became clear the former PM lost nine more classified documents and even more unclear of what he has done with all of the top secret files. The former agent, who gave Borisov the report, knew him as former Mayor of Sofia and a fellow member of the Bulgarian Karate Federation. The Former PM accused the former Mayor and current PM of serving the business interests of a circle close to him known as the “Tom Cats” during his City Hall term. It is unclear who they are since the former PM declined to say more. Meanwhile, the former DANS Director, now soon to be former General Consul in Thessaloniki, was accused by his former DANS Deputy Director of running DANS like a mafia organization while the former spokesperson of the former DANS Director became editor-in-chief of a scandalous newspaper where bits and pieces from a classified report were published, but it might not have been the same report.

And the former PM, allegedly, created DANS to oppose his biggest enemy and fellow party member, the above said former Interior Minister.

Anyone following so far? Got “Lost in Translation?” Don't' worry, so is the majority of Bulgarians. Despite the fact that the top secret classified report got published online. For those, who don't speak Bulgarian - don't lose sleep over it either – it was not even an interesting read. For quite a while the top secrets inside have not been any secrets... Who in their right mind didn't know Bulgaria is ruled by the mafia?

In the background of all this drama, supreme and other high-ranking magistrates are “fast and furious” to throw resignations across the table over a corruption scandal shaking the judicial system. All this because they had contacts with a shady 27-year-old man who claims he can secure any judicial appointment in exchange for cash and who remains as mysterious as everything else in a State which has long ago stopped functioning as such.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the more distant background, the ambitious project to build a second Bulgarian Nuclear Power Plant in the Danube town of Belene crumbled after the German RWE withdrew due to funding problems. Belene is now facing the sad destiny of being always and only remembered as the sinister communist concentration camp where the DANS predecessors used to send the “enemies of the people.”

Also in the midst of the DANS scandal, the cabinet's approval of the 2010 budget, imposing a freeze on pensions and public sector wages, and envisaging less spending in almost all sectors, ranging from health and education to defense, went somehow unnoticed. And talk about the latest high-profile kidnapping case, where a young man disappeared, is slowly fading away. As did news about businessman Vene Sotirov, who was kidnapped in April and is yet to be found, or about Bulgaria's top coroner, involved in two controversial criminal cases, whose sudden death by hanging on a Sofia playground was labeled suicide.

Luckily there is always some new scandal in Bulgaria, coming on top of the old one, diverting attention and triggering mass memory loss. The perfect Hollywood scenario.

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Tags: DANS, Sergey Stanishev, Boyko Borisov, DANS report, kidnapping, Budget 2010, Belene, VSS, Krasio


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