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.
Italy wine exports were worth €6.2 billion, keeping Italy second only to France in the ranking of world producers, said the report of the institute of Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (ISMEA).
The value of Italian wine exports is up 3.3% in 2018 and has increased by 70% over the last decade.
Italy produced 55 million hectolitres of wine in 2018, an increase of 29% with respect to the previous year. In a report ISMEA said that 20 million hectolitres of that wine was sold abroad.
Germany stays in the lead in volumes of imports of Italian wines, followed by USA, UK, France, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Russia and Sweden. However is value is considered, the Americans trend to buy the most expensive wines, followed by Germans and Britons. The Japanese are also partial of Italian wines, entering the list of 10 top importers in both volumes and value category.
Region of Puglia delivers around 17% of the Italy’s total wine production, producing more wine than any other region in Italy.
Migrant laborers staged a strike this week to protest at the deaths of 16 colleagues killed this week in two separate traffic accidents in southern Italy.
Thousands of migrants work in the southern heel of Italy during the summer months, harvesting tomatoes.
They are paid 3 euros an hour, the amount that corresponds to a salary of 500 euro a month for 20 working days (Italy average salary 1700 euro).
More than 200 migrants marched on Foggia from their camp, known as the “Great Ghetto”, some 10 km (6 miles) away.
“No to slavery,” they chanted as they walked along country roads under a fierce summer sun.
Twelve migrants died on Monday 6 August as they traveled home after a day in the fields, with their packed van smashing head-on into an on-coming lorry.
Two days earlier, four migrants died in a near identical accident. Both crashes happened close to the city of Foggia, near the Adriatic coast.
There were no comments of Italian officials on road accidents causing indignation of migrants. Police investigation announcements were not made either.