It's Raining Resignations in BulgariaEditorial |Author: Maria Guineva | March 24, 2012, Saturday // 11:40| views
The latest wave of resignations and reshuffles in Bulgaria started with the notorious bonus dismissals and ended with the sacking of two key cabinet members – of Economy and Energy, Traicho Traikov, and of Health, Stefan Konstantinov.
As local politicians are notorious for refusing to resign, a number of Bulgarians continue to admire the strong will of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, always ready to send into oblivion those guilty of blunders. Many others, however, begin to fear something ominous behind this facade.
Borisov failed to offer any sound motives for the resignations. He also skipped the Parliamentary vote on them. (On that day, the cabinet for some unknown reason was meeting in the western city of Kyustendil....)
In a number of TV appearances, senior officials gave contradictory explanations revolving around personal reasons, slow work, the Doha beach and the fiasco with the Bulgarian-Qatari business forum, skyrocketing medication prices and too much fighting.
Traikov's critics call him "slow" and blame him for not doing much at the post. He struck, however, as someone who had an opinion, tried to speak his mind, but most of the time had his hands were tied by Borisov's controversial moves and decisions on a number of energy projects.
Konstantinov became the third Health Minister in the GERB cabinet to resign – an all-time record, even for Bulgaria. Anyone, who has been unfortunate enough to be treated at the hospital, go to the doctor or to the pharmacy, knows that the healthcare is in shambles, ridden by corruption and lack of funding. The wrong is way beyond the capacity and knowledge of any individual at the post.
In the turmoil, another resignation and its lighthearted approval went almost unnoticed instead of raising eyebrows – that of Ivan Drashkov, Deputy Chief of the National Security Agency, DANS. Drashkov is not just some cop; he "is a career intelligence officer with 21 (now 26) years of service...," and "is respected by politicians of all stripes...," according to one of the best US diplomats, former Ambassador in Sofia, and now in Moscow, John Beyrle. Hard to believe such man resigned in the prime of his career over "wanting to devote time to his family." Scores of DANS employees have also quit in recent months. Something smells in national security circles as well...
The reshuffles lead to more reshuffles; experts are leaving, and are being replaced by political appointments. There is a growing sense of helplessness and ignorance in the rule the country, of attempts to dissipate and water any and all responsibility from the top down.
On the backdrop of a melting fiscal reserve, we witness a meltdown of political and administrative resources and capacity. The rain threatens turn into a deluge, sweeping much and many on its path.
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