Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Zheleva Guilty As Charged But Refuses To Own Up

It doesn’t matter where they come from politician are sleeze bags! This particular witch hunt has begun on Zheleva because of allegations of non disclosed business interests. This may be normal in Bulgarian political circles but in a European so called ‘squeaky clean’ politics it isn’t. I personally think she is guilty as charged, but like all politicians she refused to admit the truth! Huh, politics, who needs it?

Drama erupted at a European Parliament committee confirmation hearing of would-be European Commissioner Roumyana Zheleva of Bulgaria, who faced repeated questions about alleged failures to disclose business interests.

Following up allegations made publicly earlier in the day on January 12 2010 about Zheleva, who was a member of the European Parliament from 2007 to 2009, having failed to disclose her ownership and management of a consultancy, MEPs from parties critical of her candidacy questioned her time and again on the issue.

Even before the formal question session started, some parties used their opening statements to raise the issue.

Zheleva, in her opening remarks, ignored the issue, but it was raised about six times in individual questions in the first 90 minutes of proceedings.

Zheleva said that she had documentation proving that all such allegations were false. She said "I am not the owner" of the consultancy company.

An attempt to distribute documentation at the committee hearing failed when a point of order was raised that it was solely in Bulgarian and German and had not been translated into the other EU official languages.

Zheleva told the committee hearing that the allegations, including those raised in some media reports, had arisen from a letter written by Antonia Purvanova, who heads the European Parliamentary delegation of the National Movement for Stability and Progress, a former governing party of Bulgaria that was ousted from power and Bulgaria's Parliament in the 2009 elections won by the party of which Zheleva is a member.

As the hearings wore on, Zheleva appeared flustered and 20 minutes into the question session, switched to her native Bulgarian from the English that she had been speaking initially. When, after some time, questioning returned to topics related to her proposed portfolio - international co-operation, humanitarian aid and emergency response - she returned to answering questions in English.