The Head of State on the Choice of a New Fighter Jet for the Bulgarian Air Force: We Cannot Want to Win Europe’s and the World’s Respect if We Fail to Respect Our Own Laws and Rules
“The tender procedure was perverted. I insisted that the procedure and the financial framework should be respected, which would guarantee the best choice, no matter what the type of aircraft would be. The government did exactly the opposite – it declared a winner in breach of their own rules and those of the National Assembly and even assumed the commitment to overpay an enormous amount.” This is what President Rumen Radev told journalists today, in reply to a question regarding the decision made by the Council of Ministers to launch negotiations on the acquisition of the F-16 fighter jet for the Bulgarian Air Force.
At the St. Alexander Nevski square in Sofia the Head of State took part in the blessing with holy water at St. Jordan’s Day (Epiphany) of the battle flags and the sacred flags of the Bulgarian army. President Rumen Radev greeted the Guard of Honor and laid a wreath at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier.
The Head of State was adamant that the choice of the new fighter jet thus amounted to a triple blow against Bulgaria. “You must recall that populist statements were made that we do not purchase fighters so that there may be more money for pensions. Anyway, there is no money for pensions and currently Bulgaria will spend a lot more on a fewer number of fighter jets moreover. This is a blow against the trust of the European partners, which the government uses as figurants in the tender. This is also a blow against the image of our US partners, who in the Bulgarians’ eyes win the tender via lobbyism and not according to the rules, Rumen Radev said. The president, for his part, asked how can we want to win Europe’s and the world’s respect if we fail to respect our own laws and rules.
“The chaos with the vignettes embodies the governance style, which I have commented more than once – the lack of transparency, of accountability and responsibility,” the Head of State said, asked about the scandal surrounding the launch of the electronic road toll system.
Asked to comment the criticism against his New Year address to the nation, Rumen Radev said that he cannot understand why some people are afraid to hear the truth. “All moments are inconvenient when inconvenient truths are spoken. Nobody has bottomed out of a crisis with solemn odes, but by identifying the problems. And I think that identifying the problems means greater hope and confidence for the people than sugar-coated addresses,” the President added.