(DF) Prime Minister Says Discrediting Disclosures Aimed to Crush Him and His Party

June 17 (BTA) – Reacting to discrediting disclosures made against him over the last few days, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said on Wednesday: “Their purpose is to crush us psychologically before they hurl at us physically.” Borissov told an extraordinary news briefing at the headquarters of his GERB party that he could guess who made the audio recording and the photos, but noted that he is only concerned with one thing: whether they were made lawfully. The Prime Minister was commenting on an audio recording leaked to the media last Friday and photos circulated online earlier on Wednesday. The recording allegedly features his voice and reveals government malpractices. It seems that Borissov is talking to someone he considers close, because he uses obscene language. It transpires from the conversation that the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) was “sent against” the Eurohold insurance company which wanted to buy the Czech energy company CEZ’s assets in Bulgaria. The Commission launched a full-scale probe of Eurohold last April. Also during that time, the prosecuting magistracy was checking the guest house of former deputy economy minister Alexander Manolev, whose name is also mentioned, implying that Borissov had warned him and that now he will be charged and destroyed. In the other disclosure, photos allegedly taken in Borissov’s bedroom show a nightstand drawer full of stacks of 500-euro banknotes. The Prime Minister confirmed the authenticity of another photo which shows him sleeping. “Our political opponents hit the bottom,” Borissov commented. He wondered why the discrediting materials were released such a long time before the upcoming elections. Bulgaria will hold parliamentary elections around March 2021 and presidential elections in the autumn of 2021. He said the reason could be that very important things for the nation are expected in July 2020. “Bulgaria is confidently advancing towards membership of the banking union and the euro area, which means monetary independence,” he said. “At the Council on Friday, Bulgaria is expected to get probably the highest financial pledge for the coming months. It is my job to take Bulgaria into the banking union and the euro area – two important geostrategic questions.” Borissov said the photos were obviously taken at the Boyana Residence before the latest European elections (May 2019). He stated that neither he nor GERB have received money from fugitive gambling mogul Vassil Bojkov. The Prime Minister said: “I have been warning you about that every day. It is written in the KGB textbooks: you should work out such a compromat [discrediting material] that the intended victim will be disgusted with himself just by looking at it. What is missing here is a little boy next to me. Then I could kill myself.” Borissov went on to say that in the fourth and last year of its third government term, the GERB party remains the number one political force. “The Bulgarian Socialist Party [BSP] is about 10 percentage points behind us in the rankings. So, what can be done? Kill the leader Borissov and let GERB dissipate through the workings of [former second-in-command] Tsvetanov, this one or that one. Such is the aim of the whole scheme, and they spare neither energy nor money.” Asked by a journalist whom exactly he was referring to, Borissov said: “First and foremost, President Radev, and hence, the BSP, and hence, Tsvetanov, and hence, Maya Manolova, and hence, Slavi Trifonov.” (Manolova is a former BSP MP and former national ombudsman who lost the latest mayoral race in Sofia. Trifonov is a popular TV show host who initiated a national referendum on election rules.) The Prime Minister also added the right-wing Democrats for Strong Bulgaria party to the list, saying: “They would embrace the last communist, but not GERB.” “The Movement for Rights and Freedoms act differently, from behind, quietly,” he said. Taking a journalist’s question, the Prime Minister admitted he fears for his safety. “They arrange, they cut, they create; they have entire sound recording studios,” he said, expressing his confidence that the prosecution service will do its job. RI/VE //