Bulgarian Right Wing Head: Court Hinders Lukoil Probe

Domestic | August 12, 2011, Friday // 10:04|  views

The leader of the right-wing DSB party, co-Chair of the Blue Coalition, and former PM, Ivan Kostov, is a staunch supporter of revoking Lukoil's license. Photo by BGNES

The Court is obstructing the probe if Lukoil Neftohim is involved in Value Added Tax (VAT) and excise draining and in tax evasion.

The statement was made Friday by the leader of the right-wing party Democrats for Strong Bulgaria, DSB, and co-Chair of the Blue Coalition, Ivan Kostov, who spoke in an interview for the Nova Televizia TV channel.

The right-wing leader explained the Wednesday rule of Supreme Administrative Court (VAS), allowing the only refinery in Bulgaria, owned by Lukoil, to process fuel until the end of 2011 is not final and both – the Sofia City Administrative Court and VAS must issue additional decisions.

According to Kostov, it would be very difficult to carry out the probe when the refinery is working and this is how the Court is interfering.

Regarding earlier statements of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, the outcome of the Lukoil saga would turn into a test for the cabinet, the DSB Head pointed out the government failed this test because it did not back firmly the Customs Agency in its decision to revoke the license of Lukoil to operate excise fuel storage facilities over the company's failure to install on time electronic measuring devices. He said the Customs' decision had been right because it would have inflicted losses for the Russian cartel in the country.

"The VAS Chair is a personal appointment of the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, party and of Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov – this is no secret for anyone. And the Minister who was against the closure of the refinery has been precisely Tsvetanov as it was revealed," Kostov stated.

He further pointed out the recent events surrounding Lukoil should bring fuel prices down by at least BGN 0.15-0.20 per litter, not the current tiny reductions of these prices by Lukoil.

When asked if the sale of the refinery to the Russians, which occurred when he was Prime Minister, was a mistake, the right-wing leader answered that it had not been and he had no regrets or remorse, adding he did not remember the sale price, but it was useless to talk about it now.

Regarding the global debt crisis, Kostov pointed out he is deeply worried about how it would affect Bulgaria since there are clear signs the negative effects would deepen all while the cabinet had transferred the burden to households, small and medium business. He further alarmed about the threat of staggering inflation which would harm the disadvantaged the most.

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Tags: Lukoil, debt crisis, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Interior Minister, GERB, jet fuel, cartel probe, Commission on Protection of Competition, Traicho Traikov, Lukoil, Lukoil Neftochim, refinery, Customs Agency head, Vanyo Tanov, Customs Agency, Supreme Administrative Court, VAS, Ivan Kostov, former PM, Blue Coalition, DSB, right-wing, Neftochim, Bulgaria, fuel, prices


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