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With 111 votes in favour, 96 against and no abstentions, Parliament accepts Neno Dimov's resignation and appoints Emil Dimitrov as environment minister

With 111 votes in favour, 96 against and no abstentions, Parliament accepts Neno Dimov's resignation and appoints Emil Dimitrov as environment minister

15 January 2020 | 12:27 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. With 111 votes in favour, 96 against and no abstentions, the National Assembly has accepted the resignation of Neno Dimov and appointed Emil Dimitrov as environment minister, Focus News Agency reported. Neno Dimov was forced to step down over the water crisis in Pernik.

Emil Dimitrov's nomination was confirmed by the ruling coalition council on Tuesday. He was sworn in as Minister of Environment and Water at the Parliament in the presence of almost the entire Cabinet of Prime Minister Borissov.
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Prosecutor General Spokesperson Siyka Mileva: Neno Dimov permitted companies to use water from Studena Dam in violation of the law

Prosecutor General Spokesperson Siyka Mileva: Neno Dimov permitted companies to use water from Studena Dam in violation of the law

10 January 2020 | 16:27 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Minister of Environment and Water, in violation of the Water Act, permitted certain companies to use water from Studena Dam for industrial purposes, although he was duly informed in writing that the level of the dam was decreasing, Spokesperson of the Prosecutor General Siyka Mileva said at a news briefing on the investigation in Pernik and the Ministry of Environment and Water, Focus News Agency reported.

"The water resource of Studena had significantly decreased to the so-called dead storage level, in which water for drinking or industrial purposes could not be supplied. Its level was monitored by the Pernik water supply and sewerage company, which reported on the situation to the minister of the environment and water. Since the beginning of 2013, the water level had been decreasing significantly, for which the company informed the municipality, the Pernik district administration and the minister. He approved the schedules and authorised the water supply on a monthly basis. He did not take care of managing the water consumption of Studena despite the reports from the institutions," she said.

Minister Neno Dimov has been accused of mismanagement, Siyka Mileva added.
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PM Boyko Borissov accepted resignation of Minister of Environment and Water Neno Dimov

PM Boyko Borissov accepted resignation of Minister of Environment and Water Neno Dimov

10 January 2020 | 14:25 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Minister of Environment and Water Neno Dimov has submitted his resignation at the office of the Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov, said the government press office. Prime Minister Borissov has accepted the resignation of Minister Dimov.
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Reuters: Bulgarian environment minister detained over water crisis: prosecutor's office

Reuters: Bulgarian environment minister detained over water crisis: prosecutor's office

10 January 2020 | 09:43 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Bulgaria’s Minister of Environment and Water Neno Dimov was detained on Thursday after prosecutors questioned him in relation to a probe over chronic water shortages in the western town of Pernik, Reuters reported.

Dimov, who has not been charged, told reporters he was cooperating before getting into a police van. He had been questioned by Special Prosecutor’s Office staff and Interior Ministry officers at his office.

Pernik, a town with population of more than 70,000, has been subject to severe and continuing water restrictions for about two months, a matter that has been under investigation by several institutions.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said Dimov's job was a matter for discussion with the ruling coalition partners. In the third Borissov government, formed in May 2017, Dimov was nominated to the post by the minority partner in the coalition, the nationalist United Patriots.

The Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement that Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev visited Pernik on Thursday to co-ordinate actions in the investigation connected to pre-trial proceedings regarding the water crisis in the town, which lies about 25 km (16 miles) west of the capital Sofia.

"Evidence is being collected of crimes committed by officials that led to water supply problems in Pernik," the office said in a statement.

The Socialist Party - the largest opposition party - said it would file a no-confidence motion against Borissov's government, accusing it of failing to ensure proper water and clean air policies, resulting in the water restrictions in Pernik, and serious air pollution in many Bulgarian cities.

The motion is unlikely to pass, as the government enjoys the support of a small populist party and can secure parliamentary majority.

Prosecutors have focused their investigation on possible mismanagement - whether local officials from the supply company and the municipal administration have taken appropriate steps to ensure the water supply to Pernik and several nearby towns.
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PICTURE OF THE DAY
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov talks with EC President Ursula von der Leyen in Davos. January 21, 2020
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