Bulgarian Party Launch Bootleg Cigarette Smoke to Oust FinMinDomestic | October 21, 2010, Thursday // 16:19| views
VMRO-NIE protestors carrying a "Djankov Go Home" poster and bootleg cigarettes in front of the Ministr of Finance Thursday. Photo by BGNES
Representatives from small Bulgarian party VMRO-NIE rallied in front of the Ministry of Finance Thursday for an organized stunt of smoking bootleg cigarettes in a bid to oust minister Simeon Djankov from his office.
VMRO-NIE, the party endorsed by third-biggest Bulgarian city mayor Slavcho Atanasov, started an anti-Djankov campaign this week, under the slogan "Djankov Go Home", which as a matter of fact has been hijacked from students' and researchers' protests earlier in 2010.
Thursday VMRO-NIE protested the Ministry of Finance policy of raising cigarettes excise and not ensuring adequate customs control, which has flooded Bulgaria with contraband cigarettes from all over the world.
The protesters presented Djankov, who came out to meet them, a letter requesting his resignation over the matter.
VMRO-NIE Representatives claimed that Bulgaria has lost some BGN 1 B from illegal cigarette trafficking and symbolically offered that amount to minister Djankov, by presenting him with a carton of bootleg import.
They moreover claimed that contraband cigarettes pose a heavier risk for smokers, since their quality of production is not checked and verified by authorities.
Djankov promised to issue an official answer to protestors' criticisms.
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