Political farce kept us serially entertained on Friday. First, MMA fighters led by Stanislav Nedkov-Staki, whose federation and club were revealed to have received hundreds of thousands of levs in state aid from the Ministry of Sport, stormed the institution to "seek explanation" from the new administration.
Next, ex-Prime Minister Boyko Borissov convened a press conference to announce he is becoming an "investigative citizen" and would begin exposing the corrupt practices of his political opponents. Finally, the Russian Embassy in Sofia mocked over social media (in very poor Bulgarian) the outgoing head of the Bulgarian foreign intelligence service Atanas Atanassov for blaming his resignation on the "Kremlin's long hand". In more serious news:
Bulgaria and Romania get read-only access to Schengen's Visa Information System
From July, Sofia and Bucharest will gain read only access to the Visa Information System, the database connecting border guards at the EU's external borders with Member States' consulates across the world, the European Commission announced on Friday. This comes after both countries successfully completed a series of technical tests required to connect to the system. "Full access to the Visa Information System would become possible once Bulgaria and Romania are fully integrated within the Schengen area," the Commission added, underlying its support for faster integration of the two countries in the borderless area that has to be approved by all member states.
Two members of the Supreme Judicial Council file resignations
Boryana Dimitrova and Krasimi Shekerdzhiev, members of the College of Judges of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and coordinators of the project for reform of the justice roadmap, filed their resignations on Friday. "From the very start of the work of this Council we put on the table a series of problems, expecting it to reach rational solutions, but we often failed in this task," the two wrote in their farewell statement to the SJC. The resignations, still pending approval by the College of Judges, followed the rejection of their proposals for eliminating regional courts by most magistrates.
Burgas police hassle journalists filming anti-corruption report
On Friday, journalists Genka Shikerova and Georgi Filipov announced that their crew had been subject to intimidation by Burgas police while filming an anti-corruption report. On Tuesday this week, the two, alongside a driver and a cameraman, were filming a report about the shady way the Burgas Sports Hall had been constructed for the "Black book on government waste", published by the liberal German Friedrich Naumann Foundation. On Friday, the two revealed that their driver has been called to the police station to testify regarding a dossier that has been opened against them.