Bulgarian Researchers to Rally over Funding Scandal

Society | December 1, 2012, Saturday // 12:29|  views

One year ago, cash-strapped scientists and researchers from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) staged a number of protest rallies over severe budget cuts carried out by the GERB Cabinet. File photo by BGNES

Bulgarian scientists and researchers are staging a protest rally in outrage of the attempts of Education Minister, Sergey Ignatov, to cover-up the scandal at the country's Scientific Research Fund.

"We are witnessing attempts to cover-up the outrageous situation. The goal is to dismiss in full our demands for clear rules and transparency in financing science with State money," the organizers say.

They further warn that their protests against Ignatov's manipulations and the abuse of funds will not be quiet and peaceful.

The Scientific Research Fund corruption scandal has been brewing for a while now, with the Fund's Former Head, Emil Horozov, resigning in sign of protest against criminal practices at the Fund and sending a letter about them to the Prosecutor's Office.

In May 2012, the site for investigative journalism Bivol.bg published a detailed account of the cases of embezzlement of the scarce funding for Bulgarian science, but the scandal flared full force in recent days with scientists becoming louder and the news finally making headlines in mainstream Bulgarian media.

It reached global level and grabbed the attention of the European Commission, after a publication in the prestigious scientific journal "Nature."

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Tags: Bulgarian scientists, research ministry, grant competition, Emil Horozov, misuse, Rangel Gyurov, NBU, reviews, bidders, projects, Miroslava Kortenska, Sergey Ignatov, Education Minister, trading influence, conflict of interests, fund, Scientific Research Fund, scandal, embezzlement, Communist State Security


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