Bulgarian PM Blames 'Opposition's Lies' on Media Freedom

Domestic | October 3, 2012, Wednesday // 14:45|  views

Bulgarian Prime Minister Borisov has indicated his lack of understanding for media freedom. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has made a brand-new disparaging comment about media freedom accusing the media of using their freedom to spread what he claims are the "lies" of the opposition.

Borisov complained Wednesday that the Bulgarian media fail to expose allegedly incorrect statements of his supposed major political opponent, ex PM, Bulgarian Socialist Party leader, Sergey Stanishev, who just got elected President of the Party of European Socialists (PES).

Instead, the media freedom in the country provides a ground for unfair criticism, the Bulgarian PM implied, speaking at the start of Wednesday's weekly meeting of the Bulgarian Cabinet.

"I don't know what sort of media freedom this is. If I were a journalist, and Stanishev said he had built the Lyulin Highway, I would immediately play the footage of when we were there on the spot and I showed the media what the Socialist government had built – a section of a total of 5 km in a field. They have that on film. So, [I would say], "I am sorry, but you built those 5 km, and now these tunnels, bridges, and passages through the mountain were built by the Cabinet of Borisov", the PM elaborated on what he sees as a media freedom resulting in unfair treatment for his achievements.

Borisov further complained that he no longer wanted to be on air in morning TV talk shows in order to leave "the entire time for Sergey Stanishev, for Meglena Kuneva, for whoever wants that", referring also to ex EU Commissioner Kuneva who is emerging as an opposition leader with her Movement "Bulgaria for Citizens".

The Prime Minister believes that his political opponents are "overusing" their lies, and that Stanishev failed to meet his hopes "to tell fewer lies" after he got elected President of PES.

"That's why we are eager to beat PES at the elections in Bulgaria," Borisov stated, apparently failing to differentiate between the Party of European Socialists, an EU party family, and the Bulgarian Socialist Party.

Borisov's latest disparaging statements about media and media freedom are not a precedent. In July 2012, he stated that whoever criticizes the Bulgarian Interior Ministry, supported the mafia.

Top secret US diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks expose Boyko Borisov as having bribed and blackmailed journalists in order to get positive publicity.

"Journalists tell us privately that Borisov pays cash for positive coverage and threatens
those who report negatively on him," then US Ambassador in Sofia John Beyrle wrote in 2009 in a diplomatic cable to the US State Department entitled "Bulgaria's Most Popular Politician: Great Hopes, Murky Ties".

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Tags: PES, Sergey Stanishev, Bulgarian Socialist Party, Boyko Borisov, PES, Meglena Kuneva, Bulgaria for Citizens, media, media freedom, press freedom, Lyulin highway, opposition, GERB


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