Bulgaria's Notorious Tractor/Octopus Starts Own Political Party - Report

Domestic | October 30, 2010, Saturday // 17:42|  views

Aleksei Petrov, aka the Tractor, aka the Octopus, who is currently investigated and under house arrest, in front of his home. Photo by BGNES.

Notorious Bulgarian businessman, ex-secret agent and suspected crime boss Aleksei Petrov is indirectly launching his own "political project" in the wake of President Georgi Parvanov, according to reports.

According to a publication by Mediapool.bg, the participants in a research project to which Petrov contributed founded Friday an "Initiative committee for the founding of a movement under the name "Civic Action - European Concept for an Economic and Patriotic Alternative"."

The movement with that flashy name was undersigned by Iliana Benovska, Teodor Dechev from the Economic Initiative Union, and Prof. Elka Todorova from the University for National and World Economy, Sofia.

Alexei Petrov himself was an Associate Professor teaching at UNWE before being charged with organized crime activities end of last winter.

Observers of Bulgarian social and political life have noted that UNWE has been courted by a number of cabinets, including the present one.

PM Boyko Borisov, finmin Simeon Djankov and Minister of Education Sergei Ignatov have all chosen UNWE as a prime forum to launch their ideas on Bulgarian education and to attack Sofia University.

The research project that involved Petrov, who is also known as the Tractor, head of the alleged "Octopus" crime group, apparently addressed "the interaction of institutions and the application of teamwork."

Dechev commented for Mediapool that Petrov himself is not one of the creators of the new initiative, since he is currently under house arrest, but that he would "most probably approve of it."

Aleksei Petrov has unclear ties to the notorious Order, Lawfullness and Justice (RZS) party headed by Yane Yanev, and Petrov is expected to become a formal RZS member in the near future. On the other hand, he has publicly flirted with the idea of starting his own political movement, which could apparently press for a new constitutional arrangement for Bulgaria.

Since being released from detainment October 12, the Tractor/Octopus has intriguingly emerged in the center of political life.

After consulting him, Yanev released allegations against Minister of Interior Tsvetan Tsvetanov that the latter had unlawfully benefited from his positions by acquiring property.

This provoked Tsvetanov to lash out in an attack at Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov, accusing him of having illegitimate ties to Petrov and his businesses. Parvanov has dismissed those comments, insinuating that Petrov is actually related to the ruling GERB political party.

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Tags: Aleksei Petrov, Octopus, Tractor, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Georgi Parvanov, Yane Yanev, RZS, GERB, UNWE, Simeon Djankov, Boyko Borisov, Sergei Ignatov


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