'No Tension' among Businesses after Scrapped Public Tenders - Bulgaria EconMin

Bulgaria's Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski. File photo, BGNES

Bulgarian Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski has denied suggestions that earlier government decisions to cancel public procurement worth hundreds of millions of BGN have unnerved enrepreneurs and investors.

"I meet business representatives several times a week and I don't feel any stress [among them] due to the public procurement halted by the Prime Minister," Lukarski has told private bTV broadcaster.

In February, Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov ordered personally the termination of several public tenders over tinges of doubt that the respective winners had ties to certain companies and people such as Lukoil Bulgaria head Valentin Zlatev and controversial MP and alleged media mogul Delyan Peevski.

With Borisov not having the competence to do so directly under the law, the decisions sparked controversy, prompting the opposition to accuse him of acting beyond Bulgaria's legal framework.

Borisov for his part asserted he was ready to take such action anytime there was doubt as to the transparency of tender procedures.

Separately, Lukarski has commented on the decision of Rosen Zhelyazkov, a former cabinet secretary, to withdraw from the race to head the Commission for Protection of Competition, having been the only bidder.

The minister has defended Zhelyazkov, arguing he has the qualities needed to head the anti-monopoly watchdog of the country.

In relation to another recent development with a company tasked with building part of Struma motorway, Lukarski admitted there were certain companies where the bulk of construction procurement was concentrated.

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