Businessman Svetoslav Ilchovsky, who claims to have exposed a web of corruption in the agricultural sector, was finally questioned by the Specialized Prosecution in Sofia on Friday. He told reporters that he had revealed "all those claims of racketeering and what not" to prosecutors. Meanwhile, the caretaker government in Sofia has begun changing key personnel in the state administration.
Leadership changes in key administrations in public finance
The current director of the National Revenue Agency (NRA), Galya Dimitrova, has been relieved of her post due to systematic non-fulfilment of official duties, said acting Minister of Finance Asen Vassilev. Her successor is Rumen Spetsov - a bodybuilder and tax expert with over 10 years' experience in the system with a focus on tax policy and legislation, and the protection of national security. He is also an expert in the analysis and investigation of tax fraud.
The leadership of the Customs Agency is also changing. Current director Georgi Kostov will be replaced by Pavel Tonev, who took over the leadership during Oresharski's cabinet. Pavel Tonev has gone through various levels in the customs administration in his 20-year career in the agency, becoming head of customs and head of the Regional Customs Directorate Plovdiv - a position he held until 2009. He has two master's degrees - in economics and law.
Wage growth accelerates to 11% in the first quarter
Wage growth amounted to 11% in the first months of the year compared to just over 9% at the end of 2020, according to national statistics. The average gross monthly wage was 1462 levs between January and March (the equivalent of about 750 euro). The acceleration comes on the back of an increase in both the public and private sector but the differential between them is also rising. In the first quarter of last year, the public sector paid on average 28 levs more than private sector firms. Now, the gap has grown to 143 levs following wage hikes in various sectors of administration in the second half of last year.
"Der Spiegel" links Borissov and Merkel to a poor quality facemasks scheme
The German army ordered protective clothes and facemasks of poor quality from a Bulgarian company in the spring of 2020, with then-Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Chancellor Angela Merkel facilitating the deal, an investigation by German newspaper "Der Spiegel" claims. The report comes months after other publications alleged Ms Merkel's Christian Democratic allies arranged the purchasing of inferior quality face cover, a revelation that could influence upcoming general elections in Germany.