The story about the resignation of State Agriculture Fund executive director Ivanka Bagdatova-Mizova is starting to acquire the logical comic dimensions that every scandal involving the incumbents reaches. Bagdatova-Mizova had to leave her office over information that her telephone number was published on a website for booking Tara guest house in the village of Yundola.
In an attempt to minimize the damage from yet another episode of the guest-house series, minister of agriculture Rumen Porozhanov said in an interview for Darik that the outgoing director of State Agriculture Fund had explained everything to him. “She is categorical that she has nothing to do with the house and she only helped with the website. For some reason she left her phone number on it,” Porozhanov said.
It was not clear why she did it. But the minister behaved as if he had no suspicions about that obviously transparent story.
The nominal owners of Tara guest house in Yundola also tried to explain the case and defend Bagdatova-Mizova. They told Nova TV that they knew Bagdatova-Mizova about her mother-in-law, who had a house in the village. The nominal owner of Tara guest house is Emine Mestan, and her husband Mehmed Mestan is mayor of the village (Movement for Rights and Freedoms).
“Yundola is a small place and we know each other. She is the Mizovs’ daughter-in-law,” said Mehmed Mestan. In his words Mizova has not used the guest house, because she has not have to stay with them. “I haven’t seen her for years. I heard about the resignation yesterday and only then I learned she worked at the Agriculture Fund,” Mestan added.
The family said they did not know how Mizova’s phone number appeared on the website. The online advertisement was offered by a casual guest of theirs and they did not try to reach him about that.
Earlier on deputy minister of economy Alexander Manolev was also involved in the scandal’s storm. He was charged by the prosecution with undermining the financial interest of the European Union.
The scandal about Manolev was so big that the whole government had to explain itself.
Official data show that 746 guest houses have been built under the Rural Development Program 2007-13. The executive director of the Agriculture Fund, Rumen Porozhanov, admitted that the effect of the EU-funded guest house projects was unclear and that the check-ups covered 17% of them.
Following the media findings about the house used by Manolev, the prosecution also joined the chorus trying to minimize the damage from the scandal. The state prosecutor’s office announced it would investigate all EU-funded guest-house projects. At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday prime minister Boyko Borisov threatened that the Revenue Agency and the Interior Ministry would also participate in the check-ups. In his words the investigation would cover everything from business plans to the construction companies hired.