15 May 2019
Bulgarian Agriculture Minister Rumen Porozhanov resigned on Tuesday, the latest high-level official to step down in scandals involving purchases of luxury properties and the building of guest houses with EU aid for private use.
Porozhanov quit two weeks after prosecutors launched a large-scale probe into possible fraud with EU rural development aid at over 700 guest houses.
The probe has touched a nerve in the Balkan country, ranked as the EU’s most corrupt member state in the 2018 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International. Despite numerous political pledges to reduce graft, the country has yet to sentence a high-level official over corruption.
Local media reported that Porozhanov bought a spacious apartment in 2004 at well below market price. Other reports said he had failed to properly declare real estate deals carried out by his wife in 2017.
Porozhanov has denied any wrongdoing and told Prime Minister Boyko Borissov he did not want the attacks against him to influence the work of the center-right government, the government press office said in a statement.
By Tsvetelia Tsolova, Reuters, 14 May 2019
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