Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ammunition of the Cold War still explode in Bulgaria

Over twenty years after the end of the Cold War, Bulgaria still faces the problem of the destruction of 15,000 tons of obsolete ammunition, a process accompanied by allegations of corruption and serious accidents, the last on June 5, killed three people and nine wounded.

The explosion of 10 tons of explosives in a home depot munitions destruction in Lozenets (is), is, as the prosecution, to "violations of technological discipline." According to the Deputy Attorney General Boyko Naydenov, the magnitude of the accident would have been much more limited if the ammunition had not been stored - contrary to the rules - in places where grenades were defused.

The television showed survivors: poor villagers trained in this dangerous work for only four days to be paid than 300 leva (150 euros) per month or 15 euros above the minimum wage.

"This is not the owner, Bereta Trading, could not hire professionals" of the military industry. "But he preferred to save on salaries," Trud newspaper wrote Friday.

"Training staff four days to destroy explosives is ridiculous," exclaimed the security expert Ivan Boïadjiev.

The wife of one victim, Iren Kostova, said she was annoyed by the amount of compensation received from the owner: "The life of my husband is estimated at 1,000 raised" (500 euros), she said on television bTV .

The injured received half that amount. A scandal has erupted over the same time on the holiday island of Bali, Indonesia, worth 3,200 euros and financed by Bereta Trading, an official with the Ministry of Defence, which had granted a license for that company.

Measuring "Corruption explodes and kills," Trud explained that the destruction of ammunition is a lucrative business, referring to a contractor who estimated the minimum profit at 300%.

 If the time of the communist dictatorship, Bulgaria had an army of 150,000 men could reach with 400,000 reservists, these numbers are now reduced to 30,000. This process has created among others the problem of redundant ammunition.

This problem became urgent after the explosion in July 2008 an army depot in Tchelopetchene (west) that rocked the capital, Sofia. The cause of the explosion has not yet been established. According to media reports, the blasts could hide a juicy case of embezzlement of metals.

In order to overcome the ammunition, the Defense Ministry told their destruction to private companies, the law excludes the participation of foreign companies. But the accident of June 5, fueled doubts about the capacity of Private Bulgarian Entrepreneurs face.

The Defence Minister Anu Angelov proposed an amendment to legislation to entrust the dismantling of ammunition to foreign companies experienced, including the EU.

Friday, another revealing case testified about the poor quality control on arms and ammunition in the country. While the government claimed to have seized on Highway 103 missiles stolen from the Bulgarian-American air base in Bezmer (is), the director of the military base of Sopot (center) has denied, saying that the convoy contained production.

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