Borissov: From Brussels favourite to ‘bad boy’?

An SPD-led government in Germany has significant potential to sharpen international attention to the problems of corruption in Bulgaria. This could create big issues for former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and his GERB party (EPP), which is trying to find ways to return to power.

For the past 15 years, Borissov has consistently enjoyed the support of the CDU/CSU and Konrad Adenauer Foundation (CDU) helped establish the GERB party in 2006.

The former Bulgarian prime minister has always enjoyed the strong support of the EPP in Brussels. In return, he has taken on the balancer role in the Balkans while also liaising with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Merkel’s resignation and the coming to power of a left-wing government in Germany can turn Borissov from a Brussels favourite into the bad boy from the Balkans.

Ironically, Germany is likely to play a leading role in this process. The Friedrich Naumann FDP foundation has been active in Bulgaria for years, exposing corruption scandals during GERB’s rule.

Since 2015, the foundation has been publishing the “Black Book of Government Waste in Bulgaria”,which aims to bring together in one book all corruption scandals in the country. The edition is free for anyone who wants to understand the extent of corruption in the poorest EU country. During this period, Boyko Borissov was the country’s prime minister and a favourite of the CDU/CSU.

The Greens and the FDP know a lot about what has happened in Bulgaria in recent years and will probably not be late to point the finger. Increasing international pressure will make it much harder for Borissov to survive politically.

He is still using the image of “Brussels’ favourite” in his country, which guarantees European money, trying to break out of the internal political isolation he found himself in after the April elections.

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