2nd Bulgarian Planning Min Candidate Revealed with Murky Ties - Report

Domestic | May 28, 2013, Tuesday // 15:53|  views

Prof. Ivan Danov. Photo by the 24 Chasa daily.

Ivan Danov, who replaced Kalin Tiholov as Bulgarian PM nominee Plamen Oresharski's candidate for Investment Projects Minister, has ties to a company known to have engaged in shady practices, according to investigative site Bivol.bg.

Tuesday Oresharski withdrew Tiholov's candidacy just after announcing it together with the entire cabinet project Monday, after an outcry went off in Bulgarian social networks regarding Tiholov's perceived involvement in illegal construction over the Black Sea coast.

Tiholov, an architect and university professor, was replaced by Ivan Danov, a fellow academic architect.

According to Bivol.bg, Danov participates as an owner in a number of companies, including Terra Group, which is part of an eponymous holding including the notorious Binder construction company.

After 2006, a number of scandals flared linking Binder to arranged public procurement deals and draining of EU funds, which led to a temporary partial freeze of funds for Bulgaria.

The name of Asen Gagauzov, then Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development, was linked to the scandal, although he has not been convicted in court.

Then a Minister of Finance, Plamen Oresharski was Gagauzov's colleague in the three-way coalition cabinet chaired by Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Sergey Stanishev, which ruled Bulgaria 2005-9.

The position of a Minister for Investment Projects did not exist before and has been created by Oresharski's cabinet proposal.

This has led critics to see Tiholov's appointment as even more questionable.

Parliament is expected to vote on the cabinet proposal Wednesday morning.

Tuesday evening a protest has been scheduled on Facebook at the iconic Orlov Most intersection in downtown Sofia under the slogan "We don't want people from the mafia to rule our country!"

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Tags: kalin tiholov, Ivan Danov, architect, Plamen Oresharski, Asen Gagauzov, three-way coalition, Sergey Stanishev, EU funds, Binder, construction, Orlov Most, protest

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