January 19, 2010
The following article about Rumiana Jeleva was published by EurActiv on 19th January 2010.
Commissioner-designate Rumiana Jeleva was the CEO of a company established by the former communist secret services in Liechtenstein, a leading socialist MEP told EurActiv yesterday (18 January) as the European Parliament’s legal service appeared to clear Jeleva of any wrongdoing.
Ivaylo Kalfin – a former Bulgarian foreign minister (in office before Jeleva) and currently an MEP from the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group and vice-chair of the Parliament’s budget committee – said that companies established by Bulgaria’s former communist services are still the best-kept secret of the country’s transition, and are deemed to be responsible for stealing much of the country’s wealth.
The association of Ms. Jeleva with such a company, ETKO Schneiders, is a serious blow to her integrity, he said.
In 1999, Jeleva, 30 years old at the time, was appointed CEO of ETKO Schneiders, documents from public registers show.
At that time, 49% of the firm belonged to ETKO Dunavia – a Bulgarian subsidiary of ETKO European Trading Establishment – a company which was registered in Vaduz, Liechtenstein in 1988, one year before the collapse of the communist regime in Bulgaria.
According to a recent investigation led by Dnevnik, the partner publication of EurActiv in Bulgaria, as well as allegations by a former prosecutor who has written a book on the subject, this firm was one of the former Bulgarian communist secret services’ iconic foreign companies.
The information linking Jeleva to controversial firms, first disclosed by Paris-based Bulgarian journalist Atanas Chobanov, was taken up by the Bulgarian media on Monday (18 January).
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