Suspicious transactions and loans of the son of a lawmaker from Bulgaria’s ruling party raise too many questions

Successful Young Son from Bulgaria’s Town of Elin Pelin

Pavel Pavlov, son of the former Mayor of the Bulgarian town of Elin Pelin, Galya Georgieva, has solid local property acquisitions. However, the origin of funds raises issues that had been resolved through an elegant trick: The Town Hall has moved its accounts to Municipal Bank, and the bank has rented Pavlov’s office in the town center and has given him a large loan against a mortgage for the same office. Therefore, Municipal Bank actually pays the loan of the son of Galya Georgieva (Deputy Regional Governor of Sofia) with the rent. Bingo!

According to her property declarations, the former mayor of Elin Pelin and MP from the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party, Galya Georgieva, is living a modest life. The current Deputy Regional Governor of Sofia Region has an apartment of 75 square meters in Elin Pelin and a rural property in the village of Venkovets, acquired in 2009 with money from the sale of a smaller apartment and a consumer loan in the amount of BGN 38,400.

Later, as MP, Georgieva has managed to save BGN 20,000 from her salary. She has probably used this money to repay her credits, as her declaration as deputy governor no longer lists any information about them.

Galya Georgieva’s son is Pavel Dimitrov Pavlov, born in 1993. Only 19-year-old, in 2012, he concluded his first property deal. He came up with BGN 6,000, probably from a piggy bank, and paid his father half of the family apartment. The same had been bought three years earlier by his mother and his father for BGN 50,000 and had been mortgaged in a bank. For decent families in Elin Pelin it is traditional such transactions between relatives to be entered as gifts, but these are family affairs, and this deal is not of public interest.

The next property transaction, however, is way too interesting for the public. Still under the age of 21, not having even reached US age of adulthood, on January 10, 2014, Pavel Pavlov attended an auction for a property sold by a private enforcement agent. The property is the former office of the VIS-2 group on the first floor of a building that is two steps away from the Town Hall. He boldly betted for a facility of 81 square meters, designated as “Billiard Club”. He won the auction with BGN 89,475, paid and took possession.

The explanation for these funds, given by Galya Georgieva after a question from Bivol, is as follows:

“Part of the money, in the amount of BGN 45,000, my son received in the form of loan with a loan contract from January 10, 2014, certified by Notary №521 in the town of Elin Pelin, the other part of the money, in the amount of BGN 44,500, came from a term deposit in Unicredit Bulbank – BGN 30,000, BGN 10,000 transferred by his father and BGN 4,500 available cash.”.

In the declarations of Galya Georgieva to the National Audit Office, one can find available cash in the amount of BGN 15,000, received in 2010 from the sale of real estate. She has never declared deposits.

Georgieva did not answer the question of the origin of the loan of BGN 45,000. According to Bivol, it was provided by the then-Elin Pelin Deputy Mayor for Construction Yordan Yordanov. In 2015, after becoming mayor of the municipality, he declared a receivable for the same amount of BGN 45,000.

According to information from the Deposit Insurance Fund, Yordan Yordanov had a deposit in the collapsed Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB) for BGN 52,000. In 2012, he made the headlines with reports about aggression against a fellow citizen. Yordanov does not own or manage companies. Bivol has been unable to contact him for comment and information about the loan and whether it has already been repaid.

Pavel’s next property hit has happened only a few months later. However, it has been modest, even insignificant. Against BGN 3,500, Pavel has acquired a rural house and a yard of 1,050 square meters in the village of Venkovets. Besides this personal acquisition, Pavel has purchased one more property of 520 square meters in Venkovets on behalf of his company “GAPA – 1470”. For it, he has paid the modest amount of BGN 1,250.

As mentioned above, the family already had a property base in this village, set up with the purchase of Galya Georgieva in 2009. As the son expanded the land, his mother built. She has managed to build a manor house in Venkovets, in abrupt contrast with her modest salary as mayor.


Tsvetan Tsvetanov and Yanaki Chervenyakov

According to Georgieva, these were repairs and renovations of an inherited house in an inherited estate, where she has invested EUR 20,000 from a bank loan, taken in 2009. With this money “renovations have been carried out to strengthen, refurbish the house and improve the yard,” she explained following a request by Bivol.

The result of this modest investment is a luxury house with a swimming pool at the foot of the mountain that causes envious comments from local people, but it all ends there. GERB is still in power, and Georgieva has a warm relationship with the second in command in the party, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who visits the area often. One of the photos of Tsvetan Tsvetanov also features the former Head of the State Fund Agriculture Yanaki Chervenyakov, who was later fired after an investigation by Bivol about his unexplained wealth. European projects for millions, like the one for the sewerage in the village of Gabra, are being carried out by companies close to the government. In the municipality of Ihtiman, where Venkovets is located, there is double the amount of EUR millions.

When a bank pays your mortgage loan

After the general elections in October 2014, Galya Georgieva became an MP and her deputy Yordan Yordanov took over the mayoral post. One of his first moves has been to transfer the bank accounts to Municipal Bank, which happened on March 4, 2015, according to the notification on the internet site of the municipality.

To transfer them, however, Municipal Bank must first open an office in the town. And here young Paul hits the jackpot and realizes the dream of anyone who has bought a property with a mortgage loan. The Municipal Office was speedily accommodated in the purchased by him former office of VIS-2 and in the former “Billiard Club”, which had been freshly repaired for the purpose.

From that time on, the successful young son has started to receive a guaranteed monthly rent of BGN 2,000, but these are not all the benefits from the office space rented by Mayor Yordanov. On June 15, 2015, Pavel took a loan from Municipal Bank at the amount of BGN 100,000 for which the collateral was… the Bank’s office. So, the lucky winner began to repay his loan to the Bank from the rent paid to him by the Bank itself.

Is all this profitable for the Bank and is the scheme not a reward for the relocated municipal accounts? This is what the newly formed Anti-Corruption Commission should establish. For, at the same time, the mother of the successful young son is a member of GERB and GERB is the party that has a huge influence on Municipal Bank through its Sofia municipality shareholder and GERB Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov.

How and why Mayor Yordanov, who is financially dependent on the installments of the son of Galya Georgieva, has taken the decision to move the accounts? Who and why has decided to open a Municipal Bank branch in Elin Pelin? These are the keys to this puzzle, which has ultimately yielded undeniable benefits to both the MP and the Mayor of Elin Pelin.

The winning series of young Pavel has continued after the changes in the local government after the 2015 elections. The new mayor, appointed from the quota of the VMRO, had left the accounts in Municipal Bank. He had not touched GERB’s municipal fodder either.

The company Macron (apologies to the French president) associated with the former Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Director and GERB MP Valentin Nikolov continues to deliver food to kindergartens and social patronage. Cleaning and landscaping are done by “AES-X”, a darling of the Sofia Municipality.

The young Pavel and his ambitious mother, however, have set their sights on an appealing three-story building in the center of Elin Pelin, which had no permit to be used and could not obtain one because, according to the Chief Architect Vessela Tasseva, it was illegal.

The rule of law proves to be a matter of a small reshuffle of chief architects. A problem arises in Sofia, linked to the Chief Architect of the “Mladost” district, Stefan Tsankov, who is in a conflict of interest, while in Elin Pelin architect Vessela Tasseva is hindering the property expansion of the family. So, Tasseva is suddenly appointed Chief Architect of the “Mladost” district, which is still run by GERB. She is replaced by Stefan Asparuhov, who is close to the VMRO Mayor. Asparuhov quickly resolves the issue with the problem building and it becomes suitable for sale.

On June 21, 2016, the successful young son of Georgieva came up with BGN 97,791 and bought the ground floor of the building with a garden restaurant and a shop, as well as the two studios on the first floor. Galya Georgieva explains this money with the loan received from Municipal Bank, which, we wish to recall, repays the same loan with the rent that it pays to her son every month.

However, the property deals of the family in Elin Pelin obviously come in a package with rural properties in Venkovets. In October 2016, Pavel acquired a new property of 5 decares in his favorite village. It was almost free- only BGN 1,300.

The time also had come to make some money from one of the many properties. The deal has been very profitable. Pavel has sold the land plot of 1,050 square meters in Venkovets, acquired in 2014 for BGN 3,500, for BGN 23,000. The good profit can be explained by the new Detailed Site Development Plan, which has set the property as a “recreational area designed for a resort and complementary activities for two guest houses and complementary construction”.

The buyer of the property is the longtime member of the Board of Directors of the company “Kaolin” Dimitar Angelov. Will he build guest houses or such were the plans of the successful young man in connection with projects with European financing? So far, there is not enough evidence to answer this question.

This topic will obviously have further developments as Pavel Pavlov is only 26 years old, but with solid property acquisitions behind him. There is no reason to put an end to his investor’s appetite because his monthly expenses are paid by Municipal Bank, which in turn makes money from the bank accounts of the Municipality of Elin Pelin.


The Municipal Bank Office in Elin Pelin, which it rents from its borrower



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