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News 30 Oct 17

Bulgaria Minister Resigns in Procurement Scandal

Health Minister Nikolay Petrov resigned on Monday, following a TV report which revealed that while head of a hospital, he granted public procurements to a firm owned by his daughter's partner. 

Mariya Cheresheva
BIRN
Sofia
Nikolay Petrov. Photo: Ministry of Healthcare

Bulgarian Health Minister Nikolay Petrov has resigned, the government press service announced, one day after an investigation on BTV, one of Bulgaria’s main TV channels, revealed that as a head of the Military Medical Academy – a position he occupied before becoming a minister – Petrov signed contracts for 1.6 million leva [around 600,000 euros] for medical items with a company owned by the partner of his daughter, Ruslana Petrova.

The firm, Ortopedie BG, owned by Yavor Tsonev, who has a child with Petrova, won two public procurements from 2014 to 2017.

BTV’s investigation was based on an audit of the Ministry of Defence – which is in charge of the Military Medical Academy, a leading hospital in Sofia – carried out earlier in 2017.

The report had been handed to the military prosecution, which, however, decided in June not to take legal action against the minister as it said the report revealed no legal violations.

Petrov’s resignation is the first in Boyko Borissov’s third government – a coalition between his centre-right party GERB party and the nationalistic United Patriots.

Petrov headed the military hospital between 2014 and 2017. In 2013, he was Minister of Health in the caretaker government of Marin Raykov.

 

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