Bulgarian Rulers Spent BGN 33 M on Flights 2009-2013Society | September 27, 2013, Friday // 17:04| views
Bulgaria's government Airbus A319, photo BGNES
The flights of Bulgaria's rulers on the government's aircraft for the period August 2009 – March 2013 cost Bulgarian taxpayers the whooping BGN 33 M.
The information was reported Friday by Ventsislav Lakov, Chairman of the Parliamentary ad-hoc committee probing the flights of "Air Detachment 28," which operates the government aircraft.
Lakov, lawmaker from the extreme nationalist Ataka party, said former Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, tops the list with 267 flights.
He also explained that a report of the National Audit Office, NAO, revealed "shocking" conclusions and promised to provide more details at a later date.
The use of the government aircraft by Borisov's amateur football team made headlines in Bulgaria in the summer of 2012.
It emerged then that the PM's lower-tier team Vitosha Bistritsa and the team of Chavdar Etropole notoriously flew to the Black Sea city of Varna to play a friendly game using the government Airbus A319.
Borisov stated at the time the team of Chavdar Etropole paid for the controversial flight, claiming there was "nothing wrong" with it.
However, officials from the Bulgarian Civil Aviation Administration explained the government Airbus A319 is not permitted to carry out commercial flights.
The aircraft is not registered under Ordinance 37, the one that regulates all commercial airliners in the country, the officials have clarified.
Tsvyatko Lukanov, a former head of "Air Detachment 28", also declared that the flight was illegal.
The friendly game was allegedly scheduled after Borisov lost a cards game bet against controversial former GERB MP Emil Dimitrov, who is the honorary president of Chavdar.
After being long-time close friends, Borisov and Dimitrov recently parted ways. Dimitrov became one of the founders of the new party BASTA, which is trying to attract members of Borisov's GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria).
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