Opposition Question Firing of Bulgarian Economy, Energy Min

Domestic | March 18, 2012, Sunday // 15:59|  views

Until Thursday, Traicho Traikov served as Bulgaria's Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism. Photo by BGNES

Representatives of Bulgarian political parties on different sides of the spectrum spoke out against the decision of PM Boyko Borisov to fire Minister of Economy and Energy Traicho Traikov.

"Traikov was eliminated from the cabinet because he defended Bulgaria's national interests in important energy projects," said Ivan Kostov, ex-PM and leader of rightist Democrats for Strong Bulgaria.

Kostov was referring to the Belene NPP and South Stream natural gas pipeline, in which Bulgaria is partnering with Russia.

"This is an outrageous case in which the PM dismisses a minister and attempts to delude the public about the true grounds of his firing," added Kostov at a press conference in Veliko Tarnovo.

On his part, Lyutvi Mestan, front-bench MP of liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms, a traditional foe of Kostov's party, said for the Bulgarian National Radio that the reason given for Traikov's dismissal is not sound.

"It seems a whole cabinet delegation went to the beach in Qatar, and only minister Traikov got burnt," quipped Mestan.

PM Borisov had explained that after a number of "second chances" he had given Traikov, he was especially irritated at the fact that the minister went to the beach, instead of taking care of what turned out to be a failed Bulgarian-Qatari business forum in Doha.

Mestan added that it is far from certain that the Movement for Rights and Freedom's political group in Parliament will vote in favor of Traikov's dismisal.

"We want to hear the true motives and facts first. As things stand now, Traikov's dismissal is quite questionable," said the MP.

Mestan added that the concurrent Thursday dismissal of Minister of Health Stefan Konstantinov is an entirely different matter and must be separately discussed.

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Tags: Boyko Borisov, Cabinet, Qatar, Stefan Konstantinov, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Democrats for Strong Bulgaria, parliament, Lyutvi Mestan, Ivan Kostov, Traicho Traikov, Belene NPP, South stream, Russia


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