Bomb Explodes at Bulgarian Anti-Government NewspaperViews on BG | February 10, 2011, Thursday // 14:12| views
The blast in downtown Sofia, aimed at the Galeria paper, left the surrounding buildings with broken windows. Photo by BGNES
By Elizabeth Konstantinova
A bomb exploded at the offices of Galeria, a Bulgarian anti-government newspaper, damaging neighboring buildings.
The blast went off at 5:40 a.m. in central Sofia today, Kristina Patrashkova, editor-in-chief of the weekly, said in an interview with Horizont radio. No casualties were reported.
Galeria last month published transcripts of taped phone conversations between senior government officials and Customs Office chief Vanyo Tanov, which prompted Prime Minister Boiko Borissov to seek and win a confidence vote in Parliament on Jan. 20.
In the transcripts. which involved Tanov, Borissov, and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, Tanov complains about pressure on his office to protect certain companies from tax investigations.
"The explosion is a political act aiming to intimidate us," Patrashkova told Horizont. "It is obvious that our newspaper is the most critical of the government."
Borissov took office 17 months ago, pledging to curb corruption and organized crime after criticism from the European Commission. Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem is among four commissioners visiting Sofia today ahead of the commission's interim report on Bulgaria's efforts to fight graft, to be released at the end of the month.
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