Heard in Europe

Bulgaria has checked which of its nationals currently working in international institutions, including the EU, worked for the now defunct Communist secret services.

The list of the officials is ready, but Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has asked that it be withheld, because one name in particular could cause embarrassment. The official works for the European Commission.

Bulgaria has disclosed the names of its ministers, MPs, diplomats, mayors, chiefs of agencies, of banks etc., in successive waves, since a Committee on Dossiers was set up in 2006 by parliamentary decree.

The latest wave to be disclosed was to be that of Bulgarian nationals working for international institutions. But when the chief of the committee, Evtim Kostadinov, brought the list to Borissov prior to its publication, one name attracted the premier’s attention.

The person in question appears to have worked with three branches of the former Darzhavna Sigurnost, or State Security – the First department (foreign intelligence), the Fourth department (Scientific and technical department) and the infamous Sixth department (political police).

It is unclear if the list presented by Evtimov to Borissov will be published, or if changes will be made to avoid embarrassment.

The disclosure of links of public figures to the former secret services has so far caused limited consequences for those concerned. The diplomats exposed cannot be sent abroad as ambassadors, but can work at any post other than that.

Revelations made so far show that a very large proportion of the Bulgarian elite by 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, have ties to the Communist secret services. The security agencies were closed the following year.


Photograph courtesy of Johan Oomen. Published under a Creative Commons license.

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