Cutting Ribbons in Bulgaria

Is the European Commission aware what Bulgarian rulers are doing on the Black Sea coast?

The implementation of the project for reconstruction and modernization of the fishing port in the Black Sea town of Pomorie, financed under EU Operational Program “Fisheries and Aquaculture”, was officially launched on March 17, 2015. The project has been submitted for evaluation at the end of April 2013. The contract between the Pomorie municipality and the Executive Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture (EAFA) was signed in July, 2014. The value is 9,754,511 levs and the implementation deadline was August 31, 2015.

The contract with the selected contractor for the project – “Asara” – was signed on January 6, 2015. The consortium includes the companies “Vodstroy 98”, “Buldeni” Ltd, and “Building Comfort” Ltd. The company “Vodostroy 98” is publically known for its connection with the infamous businessman and lawmaker Delyan Peevski. We also should not ignore the fact that the consortium was registered in Sofia at the same address that houses the offices of “Vodstroj 98” – 13-15 “Sandor Petofi” street. The same location also houses about 55 other Companies under the Obligations and Contracts Act, all set to participate in major contracts, primarily with European funding.

Through various formats and partnerships, “Vodstroj 98” has been awarded a record number of State and municipal public tenders with European funding for about 1 billion levs. The President of “Asara”, Ivan Vasilev Nikolov, is the manager of three other companies, especially registered for the absorption of public funds in Pomorie. These are: “Pomorie 2014”, “Consortium Renewed Pomorie 2012” and “The Old Pier Pomorie”. This man obviously has special aspirations to improve the infrastructure of the seaside town and seemingly there is no competition that could oust him from his strong positions.

The other two companies, “Buldeni” Ltd and “Building Comfort” Ltd, on their part, are affiliated with two very curious Companies under the Obligations and Contracts Act, apparently designed to absorb funds through projects and public tenders – “Bankya 2014” and “Bedechka 2016”. And if one consortium brings to mind the birthplace of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (Bankya – editor’s note), the other quite directly leads to the huge scandal with the planned criminal destruction of an entire beautiful park in the city of Stara Zagora with the same name. Civil society staged protests to save the park from concrete, but due to circles of companies around Borisov’s ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party (GERB) and Peevski’s Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), it seems that the cause is doomed as structures close to ruling politicianshave already registered a real estate, consulting and construction company under the name of the set for destruction Stara Zagora park. This could be a topic that Bivol is just opening and that needs to be investigated to track how and # WHO is profiteering from the destruction of parks and green areas in Bulgaria.

According to the information panel at the construction site at the fisherman’s port in Pomorie, the project activities should have concluded on August 30, 2015, while according to the mandatory sign that the project is funded under the EU Operational Program, it had to be finished on August 31, 2015.

That did not happen.

The deadline for the construction of the port was extended for unknown reasons. It is also not known if this has led to financial sanctions by the European Commission. This information is concealed from citizens, although each project, whether under a European program or State or municipal budget, is funded by them.

Only on May 21, 2016, after one year delay, the fishing port was opened for use with a solemn ceremony, naturally, with the personal involvement of the Prime Minister, who came to cut the ribbon. By default, Boyko Borisov is always present where there is ribbon cutting to artificially embellish his image through yet another PR appearance. The situation may well be summarized as “absorbing arbitrarily EU money and becoming very rich, yet making their own IP in presenting themselves as the builders of modern Bulgaria”. This is why Borisov had the audacity to say that one day his grandson would be extremely proud by what was “constructed by his grandfather”. His subordinate – the Pomorie Mayor Ivan Alexiev – and many mainstream journalists, known in Bulgaria as “microphone handles”, fluttered around the leader.

“The microphone handles”, however, conveniently failed to remind that while Borisov and Alexiev are cutting ribbons, the District Prosecutor’s Office in Burgas has initiated pre-trial proceedings against an unknown perpetrator from the municipal administration. Mayor Alexiev has so far been spared by the magistrates, but not the fact that the investigation was launched due to proven financial crimes in draining the Pomorie municipal coffers during the first term of the Mayor from GERB.

On May 16, 2016, the investigation requested a new extension.

People from Pomorie joke that Boyko Borisov has inaugurated Delyan Peevski’s port. The warm relationship of Mayor Ivan Alexiev with DPS, as he was elected for the second term in office namely with the support of the party of #WHO, is a public secret in town.

The divergence between the project and what was built also causes bewilderment

The project, published on the official site of the Pomorie Municipality, shows that its parameters included two concrete port structures, however, only one was built; the other is just a mound of stones.




The project




















The “absorbed” money for “personal use” was probably not enough for the “second stage”. So far there is no audit, but according to experts, such is required by the European Commission which must determine how and what companies are spending the money from European programs.

Only days ago, the European Commission straightforwardly stated that there are doubts about the contracts with EU money. According to Brussels, the irregularities include lack of administrative capacity and weak controls. It urged the government to undertake swift measures for strict control. However, it is definitively known that the corrupt cannot control themselves because they are simultaneously on both sides of the barricade.

This is enough said about projects with European funding “from GERB to DPS” of the Mayor of Pomorie and about the ribbon cutting.

Борисов и кметът Алексиев в средата между поповете. Заобиколени от верни партийни кадри.

Borisov and Mayor Alexiev are standing right in the middle, surrounded by clergy and loyal party functionaries. 



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