Bulgaria's Top Cop Brags about Special Ops in Brussels

Bulgaria in EU | September 28, 2010, Tuesday // 15:36|  views

Bulgaria's Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov (l), during his meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. Photo by BGNES

The special police operations were the focal point of the Monday evening speech of Bulgaria's Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, delivered in Brussels.

Tsvetanov spoke during the conference titled "Bulgaria – One Year after the Cabinet Change," organized by the Hans Seidel Foundation as part of the program of the Minister's official trip to the Belgium capital.

Before an audience of Members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission, diplomats and EU employees, Tsvetanov began his speech with a quotation from the EC last report on Bulgaria - "strong will for reforms," and went on naming 60 significant special police operations whose names were projected in English on a wide screen behind him (Octopus, The Impudent, The Gunsmiths, among others).

The presentation also included scores of pictures of men in handcuffs, of a tiger in a cage (from The Impudent raid), seized guns, and detainees laying on the ground, the Bulgarian daily "Dnevnik" reports.

"Crime contributed to the highly negative image of Bulgaria abroad, but this is now changing. We have a politically independent government without coalition partners and without the threat of political racket. No reform in Bulgaria can succeed without the fight against corruption and the mafia," Tsvetanov is quoted saying.

The Minister stated the judicial system reform as the main challenge before the cabinet of his ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party, adding the said reform requires numerous "painful" measures that might not be fully implemented.

"It is very hard when one has the political will to fight corruption and organized crime, but there is a lack of legal will," according to the Minister.

German investigative journalist, Jurgen Roth, also took part in the conference, criticizing the actions of the Bulgarian cabinet to tame crime and calling them "fireworks."

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Tags: Jurgen Roth, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Brussels, Brussels visit, official visit, official trip, Hans Seidel Foundation, organized crime, corruption, GERB, Cabinet


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