What do an ageing cartoonist, pen pusher on the paycheck of the oligarchy and a rhinoceros may share in common? It is hard to guess, isn’t it? The answer, however, is simple – all of them are tools in the hands of the Bulgarian backstage power brokers. Targeted as the sworn enemy of the behind-the-scenes clique, the lawmaker of the opposition Movement for Rights and Freedoms and publisher of Telegraph Media Delyan Peevski who, on top of everything, is the nominee for MEP for the second time is their main opponent.
“Oligarchs of the world, unite!” is the slogan under which the past seven days in Bulgaria went by. Indicted “businessmen” in the country and fugitive individuals holed up abroad rolled up their sleeves and got down to attacking their sworn enemy – lawmaker of the opposition party Movement for Rights and Freedoms and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski – seemingly trying to squeeze an entire five-year plan of fake news into a week.
Almost seven days ago, it transpired that the MP of the opposition party Movement for Rights and Freedoms and publisher of Telegraph Media Delyan Peevski is on the voting list of the Movement and will run for MEP at the end of this month. For years, the MP has been winning the elections in which he participated. Voters know him well, know that he is as good as his word and see that he is fighting the oligarchic shadows in Bulgaria – he forestalls their shady deals and the attempts to foil his legislative initiatives, whereas his media outlets expose the affairs of the indicted bosses.
If we had to wrap up the developments in the media space of Bulgaria in the past several months (and why not the past years? - Ed.’s note) we would see that the scandals are swarming but there is one and only constant – the fake news generated by the shady political and economic circles aimed at settling accounts with their foes.
It is common knowledge that repetition is the mother of learning. According to Goebbels, repetition is the mother of propaganda. As regards the oligarchic media in Bulgaria, repetition is not just propaganda. It means lies stored in archives of files whose content are the talking points which are taken out of mothballs every time when the previous one becomes too worn-out.
What any frog fears most is that someone will make a splash in her so cozy bog. Everybody knows the maxim about fishing in murky waters. The same is true about a bog, especially if it is a media bog.
If we have to choose a key word for the last week it will be the “apartment”. So far the scandal about the apartments provided by Artex Company bought much under their market price have precipitated two audits – one by the Prosecutor’s Office and the other, by the ACCIAF (Anti-Corruption Commission). These scandals also resulted in two resignations: first of the justice minister Tsetska Tsacheva and second, of the deputy minister of sports Vanya Koleva.
The indicted oligarch Ivo Prokopiev who has left a mark in the history of the Transition period in Bulgaria with one of the most maleficent privatisation deals – that for Kaolin mining company, managed to lug in his manipulations even the US State Department.
Failed justice minister and prominent grant-recipient Hristo Ivanov whipped up yet another fake news about lawmaker and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski recently.
May total transparency in the media sector be qualified as encroachment on freedom of speech? Seems unlikely, doesn’t it? In principle you are right: to any normal person the provisions of the so-called Peevski Act are nothing but a guarantee that owing to them people will know who is talking to them from the pages of this or that newspaper or website.