How One Company Controlled the Flow of Goods Across a Border to an Entire Continent

The private border of Bulgaria and the EU

26 July 2022

Ognyan Georgiev

Marcin Król Fellow

Kiril Petkov’s government suddenly collapses when it delves into the issue of a shady business operating on the border with Turkey for over a decade.

‘This government did not fall in parliament. It fell on the Kapitan Andreevo border crossing.’ Those were the words of the leader of the largest parliamentary group in the Bulgarian parliament, after the no-confidence vote, which brought down the cabinet of Kiril Petkov. 

Editor’s Pick: In Bulgaria the Status Quo Strikes Back

Mr Andrey Gurov was right on point. The political troubles of Petkov’s cabinet erupted suddenly out of the blue. Yet they coincided very strangely with the largest anti-corruption battle for the return of statehood this government managed to start — taking back control of the Turkish border. For the better part of the last decade a nexus between shady private interests and corrupt state officials have created a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ zone, through which each year passes millions of euros and a multitude of goods. 

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Ognyan Georgiev

Marcin Król Fellow

Marcin Król Fellow at Visegrad Insight. A long-time reporter and editor in the leading Bulgarian business publication Capital, and currently head Kapital Insights - the English language service for Bulgarian politics, business and economy. He follows regional development, economy, cities and European funding. Georgiev is a Robert Bosch Stiftung and Fulbright alumni, and spent a year in MIT, researching urban migration. Interests include city planning, urban migration and remigration to Central and Eastern Europe, as well as regional and intraregional development.

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