Bulgaria's New DefMin to Start Revision at Ministry over 'Abuses'

Defense | November 8, 2014, Saturday // 11:30|  views

Nikolay Nenchev (L) while taking over from Velizar Shalamanov (R) during the ceremony that marked the transition of power at the Defense Ministry in Sofia, Bulgaria, November 7, 2014. Photo by BGNES

Nikolay Nenchev, who took over as Bulgaria's Defense Minister on Friday, said he had observed many instances of wrongdoings at his institution.

On Sunday he voiced his concerns that, according to estimates he has been made familiar with, about BGN 2 B have been drained out "somewhere" within ten years.

"I am starting a revision, there have probably been abuses," Nenchev said in an interview with private national channel NOVA TV. Later he elaborated, telling the Bulgarian National Radio they had been earmarked for modernization, but their spending had virtually delivered no results.

He explained he was "aware" of what had to be carried out at the ministry and was determined to pursue Bulgaria's integration in NATO and the EU.

Nenchev reminded equipment currently used in Bulgaria did not meet NATO standards and had to be updated.

Critics, mostly from the opposition, have accused him of having insufficient knowledge of defense issues.

But he told NOVA various people at the Reformist Bloc (the coalition of which he is a member and which raised his candidacy) had asked him to take the Defense Ministry.

In his words, the position was proposed to him by RB's co-head Radan Kanev and other officials such as Petar Slavov and Martin Dimitrov.

Nenchev added he had supported his predecessor, former interim Defense Minister Velizar Shalamanov, arguing he should retain the post.

Shalamanov however refused in order to pursue "his career in Brussels," Nenchev explained.

Apart from Defense Minister, Nikolay Nenchev is also the Chairman of the Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union, one of the parties forming the RB.

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Tags: Nikolay Nenchev, Velizar Shalamanov, Martin Dimitrov, Radan Kanev, Defense Ministry, Reformist Bloc, RB


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