Bulgaria minister resigns over EU funds misuse
Bulgarian Minister of Agriculture Rumen Porozhanov (pictured) resigned in an aftermath of scandals involving purchases of luxury properties and the building of guest houses with EU aid for private use.
Porozhanov did not quite immediately after the scandal eruption, but two weeks after prosecutors launched a large-scale probe into possible fraud with EU rural development aid at over 700 guest houses.
Bulgarian media reported that Porozhanov bought a spacious apartment in 2004 at substantially below market price. Other reports said he had failed to properly declare real estate deals carried out by his spouse in 2017.
Porozhanov has denied any wrongdoing and told Prime Minister Boyko Borissov he resigned to avoid attacks against him to influence the functioning of the center-right government, its press office said in a statement.
Porozhanov was in charge of the multi-million State Agriculture Fund aimed to support agriculture.
A deputy economy minister had to quit his post last month and facing charges of crimes against the financial interest of the EU after media reports said he and his family were the only users of an expensive holiday estate built with EU aid.
Notorious for its corruption, Bulgaria is an absolute black-list leader among the EU member states according to the 2018 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International. Despite numerous political pledges to reduce graft, the state has yet to sentence a high-level officials over corruption, and misuseB of public funds.