'Too Much' Freedom

Opinions |Author: Maria Guineva | March 26, 2013, Tuesday // 10:54|  views

Notorious Bulgarian banker Tsvetan Vassilev (Corporate Commercial Bank, CCB) stunned many in the country with a rare interview.

The man, known for shying away from the press, though having a near monopoly on the Bulgarian media market through New Bulgarian Media Group, shockingly spoke for the Austrian Der Standard. Fear of censorship in the homeland?

He blasted the President for serving particular business circles, obviously not Vassilev's. Many sensed panic the practice of CCB managing 48% of the monies of state-controlled enterprises and 95% of the deposits of the energy holding might change.

Another statement - "Bulgarian media have too much freedom" - further fired up journalists and social networks as ratings by Reporters without Borders and Freedom House are plummeting while the EC voiced alarm over NBMG's monopoly.

"Too much freedom?" Just ask a journalist working for the group, off-the-record, of course. I have.

"There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free," legendary American journalist, role-model for generations in the trade, Walter Cronkite, once said.

"Freedom, Sancho, is one of the most precious gifts heaven has given to man." Can't be too much or too little, Mr. Vassilev.

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Tags: CCB, NBMG, New Bulgarian Media Group, Corporate Commercial Bank, Der Standart, media freedom, EC, EU, media, freedom, president, commissioner, Tsvetan Vassilev


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