Bulgarian Nationalist Leader Seeks Malfeasance Probe of Outgoing Minister

Domestic | March 19, 2012, Monday // 17:11|  views

Volen Siderov, leader of nationalist party Ataka, has termed outgoing Economy and Energy Minister Traicho Traikov "a lobbyist for foreign ideas". Photo by BGNES

Volen Siderov, leader of nationalist party Ataka, has insisted that outgoing Energy and Economy Minister Traicho Traikov should be subjected to an investigation over conflict of interest and malfeasance in office.

Siderov told journalists Monday that the removal of Traikov, "a lobbyist for foreign interests", was not enough and reminded that the nationalist formation had already called for his resignation over the shale gas issue and the price-fixing cartel among fuel companies.

He explained that the nationalist party would not back the nominees of Desislava Atanasova for Health Minister and Delyan Dobrevski for Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism.

"I am far from convinced that they will be able to fulfill these serious ministerial functions. They are not prepared," the nationalist leader remarked.

Siderov argued that the ministerial reshuffle had shown that ruling center-right party GERB was plagued by a crisis caused by the lack of a constructive program and "most of all, lack of quality staff."

To illustrate his point, Siderov cited "the frivolous statement" of the Health Minister nominee Desislava Atanasova that she was "the heavy artillery of GERB"

"If she is "the heavy artillery, then I am Pope Benedict," he commented.

The nationalist party has also initiated a proposal for imposing a three-month moratorium on bread prices under which a kilo of bread made of flour type 500 would cost BGN 1.20.

Apart from that, Ataka proposed changes to the Penal Code stipulating that people assaulted in their homes or other property of theirs should not be held liable if they acted in self-defense or in defense of their property.

The nationalist formation also demanded amendments to the Labor Code providing that the power to set the national minimum wage would be shifted away from the Council of Ministers to the Parliament.

According to Ataka, the government is the biggest employer in the country and therefore has no interest in increasing the minimum wage,

In his Tuesday statement, Siderov yet again opposed the joint meeting of the Bulgarian and Turkish cabinets scheduled for Tuesday, calling "the innovation introduced by the Borisov Cabinet" "a retreat from national interests."

Ataka's leader drew attention to the fact that the issue of the property of the expelled Thracian Bulgarians had not been included on the agenda of Tuesday's meeting and suggested that the sole achievement of the event would be "efforts aimed at the creation of Bulgarian-Turkish TV series."

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Tags: Volen Siderov, Ataka, nationalist party, Traicho Traikov, Economy and Energy Minister, Traicho Traikov, cartel, price-fixing, fuel retailer, lobbyist, Desislava Atanasova, health minister, penal code, Labor Code, GERB


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