Bulgaria’s “We The Citizens” group, a non-governmental organization made up of 7,000 depositors of Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), recently wrote an open letter to President Rumen Radev asking for the full truth of KTB’s bankruptcy and subsequent looting of its assets.
We The Citizens have asked the government for information pursuant to the law on access to public information, but were denied and not given a reason for the denial.
In their letter, the group warned President Radev that the decision to close KTB violated EU law and undermined the chance for Bulgaria’s membership in the single banking authority.
On July 23, 2015, Deputy Governor of the Bulgarian National Bank, Kalin Hristov, made a statement at the Budget and Finance Committee meeting on July 23, 2015 where he said, “There is liquidity pressures and problems not on one, but on all 14 banks -- system pressure, which puts the entire system at risk. Additional complication comes from the political environment of the political leaders and parties, which further complicates the situation and intensifies pressure on the banking system."
In an interview with the head of the specialized prosecutor's office Ivan Geshev on February 8, 2017, Geshev said, “Perhaps the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) didn't know the truth about KTB. If there was a decision not to save the KTB, it is makes sense. What's the point of pouring money in a barrel without a bottom? It’s akin to the United States saving the Madoff pyramid scheme.”
We The Citizens say that the decision to let KTB fail was made by political motives, not on the basis of economically substantiated facts. Rather, it was a bargain. The decision was not based on a legal or required analysis of the financial situation of KTB. The group made the accusation that there was no desire or order to audit KTB, which is "necessary and indispensable in any normal country" to present the true picture of the status of liabilities and assets of the bank. Instead, fictional consultant contracts were used to justify the decision.
Even more damaging was this accusation: "That false conclusions in the report of the Commission for the imbalances in the financial-banking sphere of Bulgaria were the result of fraud and illegal lobbying pressures exerted by Bulgarian MEPs and/or a Commissioner and politicians in power. . . The decision was criminal and made without systemic bank financial-economic analysis of the status and consequences of bankruptcy. This explains the secrecy of all possible documents associated with it.”
For the past two and a half years, the Attorney General won't give them any answers.
The group closed the letter with a final question to President Radev: “Aren't you curious to find out the truth about KTB and show the Bulgarian citizens, who during your campaign heard promises of transparency and fairness? Because trust, to paraphrase Damas, is also not a bottomless barrel."
Bulgaria’s Corporate Commercial Bank Depositors accuse government of secrecy and illegally closing the bank in an open letter to President Rumen Radev
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