Bulgarian AgriMin: Millions in EU Funds Are at Stake

Bulgaria in EU | June 6, 2013, Thursday // 12:25|  views

Bulgaria's Agriculture Minister, Prof Dimitar Grekov, photo by Bulfoto

Bulgaria's Agriculture Minister, Dimitar Grekov, has ordered a probe to find out if people without qualifications and/or required education are part of his team.

Speaking for TV7 Thursday, he said he was not doing a purge, but wanted to eliminate incompetent employees, stressing "mines," left from predecessors were popping up daily in his institution.

Grekov commented on information from Bulgarian MEP from the Socialist party, Iliyana Yotova, who disclosed Bulgaria was going to lose BGN 51 M in EU funds, in confirming that EUR millions were at stake, and pledging he and his staff were going to fight for every penny.

The Minister announced plans to synchronize the work of the National Revenue Agency, NRA, the Interior Ministry, and the Customs in order to improve control and restrict speculations in forming food prices. There is also an idea to create farming cooperatives between producers and branch organizations for better absorption of EU funds.

Grekov says his Ministry must create conditions for consolidating agriculture in the country – from production to its trade, stressing he did not have in mind the type of cooperatives imposed by the Communist regime.

He further announced he was going to reveal the names of his deputies on Monday and denied reports he was under political pressure to appoint particular individuals. The Minister explained he was non-partisan and his only affiliation was with the Agriculture University in Plovdiv, where he was President and lecturer before being appointed to the post.

Prof Grekov further informed he has been invited to join the Cabinet by Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski.

"We should stop dividing our farmers as bread has no partisan colors. I can also assuage fears that we face a "grain crisis." To the contrary, we expect a good crop. We will have bread," he concluded.

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Tags: Agriculture University, qualifications, education, employees, dimitar grekov, cooperatives, farming, Iliyana Yotova, MEP, EU funds, Agriculture Minister, National Revenue Agency, NRA, interior ministry, customs, prices, Plamen Oresharski


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