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Bulgaria - After Eltrade deal - Sofia's Chief Architect Lauds Sale of Kremikovtzi Steel Mill

The sale of the bankrupt steel mill Kremikovtzi is good for the State, the Bulgarian capital, and the workers, Sofia's Chief Architect, Petar Dikov, declared Sunday.

Dikov says the deal would open 1 500 jobs and the opportunity to clean the abandoned site.

When asked to comment on the fact the buyer is a 26-year-old man, the Chief Architect replied he does not favor such moves, but added "when the buyer was 50 years old we did not achieve any great results."

"I don't believe we must comment on something judging only by its package, I do not know the motives of the people to conduct the deal using such methods, but this is a huge amount of money, so it must be clean money," Dikov said, speaking for the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR.

Ivan Asparuhov, Mayor of the Mezdra Municipality and Member of the Managing Board of the National Association of Municipalities, who also took part in the interview, voiced doubt the company Nadin-N, which is said to be behind the purchase, could be able to make such investment since it had been hit hard by the crisis.

Lyuben Pavlov from "Podkrepa" Trade Union, asked those who really purchased the mill to come forward. He voiced hope the BGN 316 M, which sealed the deal, will secure payment of delayed salaries to 6 000 workers

The Bulgarian State finally sold Tuesday last week the production assets of Kremikovtzi steel mill in a fourth auction to a newly established local company, owned by 26-year-old Lachezar Varnadzhiev.

The deal was signed just a month after "Eltrade company" was established on March 8, 2011 with a capital of mere BGN 20 000, a check in the Trade Registry shows, triggering suspicions who stays behind it. It is Varnadzhiev's only company and it is supposed to be a black and colored metal dealer.

"Eltrade company" has the same address as Nadin - N, a well established scrap dealer. Vladimir Todorov, member of Nadin – N's board of directors, was present at Tuesday's auction.

Bulgaria's privately-owned First Investment Bank (FIBank) said it had provided all the funding for Kremikovtzi steel mill, amounting to nearly BN 320 M.

It was announced Saturday that Bulgaria's National Revenue Agency had launched a thorough probe into the tax papers of the buyer.

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