Bulgaria’s "credit millionaires" – those who got rich quick through dubious financial transactions amid the economic anarchy of the post-communist transition – are to be formally checked for links to the country’s communist-era secret services, and their identities disclosed, Parliament decided on April 4 2012.
With scant debate and with a vote of 91 in favour, none against and one abstention, MPs agreed to amend the law governing the Dossier Commission to allow the check-up and announcement of the names of those who had ties to communist-era secret services.
The vote represents the second victory in a short space of time for those who want the fullest light possible thrown on the activities of people still in public life who were agents and collaborators with State Security and the Bulgarian People’s Army intelligence services.
Recently, the Constitutional Court upheld a vital clause in the law enabling the disclosure of the identities of communist-era secret agents on the basis of entries in a log register. The clause enables the commission to name agents and collaborators even when their individual files have been destroyed.
The law as amended on April 4 will enable the Dossier Commission to check sole traders, managers and members of the management or supervisory bodies of companies at the time that unsecured loans were contracted.
The amendment was tabled by the centre-right Blue Coalition to eliminate previous difficulties in the existing law.
The previous version of the law had enabled the check-ups but did not allow the announcement of names. This was because credit millionaires, as a category, did not fit into the list of groups subject to scrutiny and disclosure by the Dossier Commission.
Ekaterina Mihailova, a senior member of the minority right-wing Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria – a partner in the Blue Coalition – said that credit millionaires had taken advantage of the inflation crisis and instability of the banking system during the transition to get their hands on large sums of money.
The truth must come to light about the involvement of State Security in the transformation of Bulgaria’s economy, Mihailova said.
Dossier Commission head Evtim Kostadinov said earlier that he expected that the investigation would cover about 50 000 people.
Going by records held by central Bulgarian National Bank, people involved in the management of more than 10 000 companies would have to be checked.
Expectations are the first results of the Dossier Commission investigation would be made public about two months after the amendments to the law come into effect.