Press Slams Bulgarian Officials for Hanging Out at Shanghai ExpoSociety | September 12, 2010, Sunday // 11:55| views
Baroness Ashton has also signed the book for honorary guests of the Bulgarian pavilion at the Shanghai Expo. Photo by Foreign Ministry
A large number of Bulgarian government officials have visited their country's pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010 getting much criticism by local Bulgarian press for spending state money on trips.
Since the beginning of September, the Bulgarian pavilion at the Shanghai Expo has been visited by Deputy Prime Minister Angel Marin, the head of the Customs Agency Vanyo Tanov, and the Mayors of Pleven, Dobrich, and Montana – Nayden Zelenogorski, Detelina Nikolova, and Zlatko Zhivkov as well as their entourages.
The visits have been reported by Plovdiv Oline, a local news portal in the city of Plovdiv, citing Hristina Koleva, the person in charge of the Bulgarian pavilion, who is the sister of Plovdiv businessman Georgi Gergov, majority owner of the International Plovdiv Fair, the company organizing Bulgaria's participation at the Shanghai Expo.
In the spring of 2010 Bulgarian Economy Minister Traicho Traikov tried to restore the government's majority ownership of the Plovdiv Fair, which is a company that was not supposed to be privatized, as Gergov's name has been tangled in accusations of illegal privatization schemes.
The Bulgarian pavilion at the Shanghai Expo was close to being shut in April-May 2010 when Finance Minister Simeon Djankov refused to grant additional BGN 2.5 M arguing that the BGN 2.2 M already spent were not used in a transparent way.
Djankov himself will be visiting the Shanghai Expo on September 16 together with a delegation.
"Bulgaria's beauties are in the past, present and future. The displayed Bulgarian 19th century home is also our contribution to the future of the human civilization. Health and successes to the team of the Bulgarian pavilion," wrote Vice President Marin in the pavilion's book.
"I feel proud," is what Customs Agency head Tanov wrote in turn.
Bulgarian papers have criticized the state officials for spending several thousand euros per person from each delegation for worthless trips to Shanghai.
The 2010 expo in Shanghai, China entitled "Better Life, Better City" takes place between May 1 and October 31, 2010 with participants from over 200 countries.
Bulgaria has a pavilion of 324 sq. m., focusing on the link between the present and the past, Bulgaria's cultural and historical heritage and present-day way of life. The building is shared by several countries. Pictures from the Bulgarian participation have been difficult to find, but eyewitnesses say the Bulgarian pavilion and display are nondescript and plain compared to others, even from the Balkan region.