We derive little pleasure from multimillionaire Mitko Subev’s sudden realisation that Bulgarian institutions are susceptible to outside influence. He is currently fighting a legal battle with his Russian partners, who wish to remove him from the Management of the Petrol Corporation. He has written impassioned letters to six foreign Embassies – including the American – denouncing the way influence was brought to bear on the Bulgarian National Business Register – set up with mostly American money – to have his name prematurely removed from the list of the Company’s Directors.
Mitko Subev once told us that above him there was only God. Now it appears that God’s chosen businessman is subject to the pesky fleabites of bureaucrats and politicians who we are to believe are subject to influence by Russian oligarchs.
A moment of introspection might prompt the memory that he well understands the influence that considerable money may exert over institutions. Did he not wish to gain total control over a building he co-owned with my impoverished mother-in-law? Did he not prefer use of influence over troublesome negotiation? Wasn’t it his expensive glossy “expert” report that drove nearly all my mother-in-law’s tenants away and almost succeeded in getting the local council to order the demolition of a sound building?
Many legal battles later, the demolition order has been rescinded. But my disabled mother-in-law is still threatened with penury. Mitko Subev has been far too busy building fantasy baroque hotels in Pomorie to bother himself with a little building in Burgas.
Mitko now finds himself in that most misty of situations – Bulgarian legal limbo. We may even rub shoulders in the cold. However the influence a rich man may exert is already being felt. Bulgarian newspaper, Standart has afforded him a platform with which to rail at Bulgarian corruption.
So that’s all right