Bulgarian Top Cop: EC Report Has Some 'Good Sides'

Bulgaria in EU | July 17, 2012, Tuesday // 14:29|  views

Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, says combatting organized crime is a long process and no government can do it in 3 years. Photo by BGNES

The draft of the European Commission's Monitoring Report on Bulgaria's Justice System and Home Affairs under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, has some good sides, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov,

Tsvetanov appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Home Security Tuesday to give an account of the work of the Interior Ministry for the 2009 – 2012 period.

In commenting on the draft, he however, avoided answering directly a question why and how 12 criminal structures in the country generate a turnover of EUR 1.8 B a year, as the EC writes.

"Yes, indeed, organized crime generates serious financial resource. The profit from 16 metric tons of hashish is over EUR 350 M. Cocaine brings even more," was the Minister's answer.

According to him, combatting organized crime is a long process and no government can do it in 3 years of their term in office, stressing that the one of his ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, is the first one, ever since the fall of Communism, to show will to end organized and trans-border crime. He voiced hope this will be reflected in the report.

"2009 was the year which marked the launch of the first ever effective effort to fight organized crime. We joined the EU in 2007 with a huge deficit in this fight and with a justice system, which assists organized crime. There were cases of serious political pressure on the judiciary," Tsvetanov stated.

According to him, Bulgaria has fulfilled 100% of the EC recommendations, but the results will be seen at some later point.

He did voice some criticism of GERB's rule in his sector such as not making donations to the police public enough or the flopped plan to introduce interface control.

"There is much more to do, especially in solving the contract murders from the past. Bulgarians must learn the truth about the entire Transition period," the Minister concluded.

When asked by a journalist at the end of the briefing if GERB has turned Bulgaria into a police State, he replied: "What police State, do you feel repressed?"

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Tags: Deputy Prime Minister, Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, organized crime, GERB, report, monitoring report, draft, cooperation and verification mechanism, justice system, home affairs


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