Jurgen Roth: Bulgarians Must Revolt against Corruption

Society | December 29, 2011, Thursday // 13:51|  views

Jurgen Roth, a top German investigative journalist, has repeatedly said he stands behind every single word that he has written about Bulgaria. Photo by BGNES

Jurgen Roth, a top German journalist, investigating organized crime and mafia in Bulgaria, in his end-of-year analysis, says that not much positive happened in the country in 2011.

In an interview for Deutsche Welle, Roth points out that many things even worsened such as living conditions and standards of Bulgarians, the social environment and the deepening abyss between the wealthy and the poor.

The journalist points out that Bulgaria had no way to avoid the global crisis, adding the problems of international banks have the most negative effect in the country.

Roth does not miss to touch on one of the most painful subjects concerning Bulgaria – staggering corruption. He stresses that the ugly practice still thrives along with the other huge problem for the country – organized crime, which continues to hold key positions.

The journalist, who during the year met with top Bulgarian politicians and with shady personalities, such as businessman and former employee of the State Agency for National Security, DANS, Alexey Petrov, who stands trial for racketeering and extortion, is cautious in assessing the rule of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.

"Borisov was quite hesitant and inconsistent in his decisions, particularly regarding energy partnership with Russia," he says.

Roth voices hope that next year Bulgarian citizens would finally gather some courage and unite in revolt against corruption; that the cabinet would finally begin protecting human rights, and that as a result – Bulgarians would finally live in a true democracy.

The German journalist is not very optimistic in his forecast for Bulgaria in 2012, but nevertheless says he expects that the government to implement structural reforms and fight corruption and organized crime more firmly. He adds his wish for ordinary Bulgarians to be offered more opportunity to prosper.

At the beginning of October, Jurgen Roth presented in Sofia his book mapping global mafia, "Gangster Economy."

Meanwhile, a Bulgarian second-instance court cleared Roth, who was sued by the country's former Interior Minister Rumen Petkov over alleged slanders in his book about organized crime in Bulgaria, entitled "The New Demons".

The investigative journalist has repeatedly confirmed that he stands behind every single word that he has written and would have done everything in the same way if he had to write his book today.

If his claims are not slander, they represent serious accusations and Roth says an investigation should be launched.

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Tags: Aleksei Petrov, Octopus, mafia, trial, Alexey Petrov, Petkov, Rumen, Roth, Jurgen, Valentin Petrov, Roth, Petkov, The New Demons, corruption, organized crime, crisis, Boyko Borisov


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