Dessislava Taneva Replaces Roumen Porozhanov as Agriculture Minister
With 121 votes in favour, five against and
no abstentions, Parliament Wednesday dismissed Roumen
Porozhanov from the post of Minister of Agriculture, Forestry
and Food and replaced him with Dessislava Taneva, who until now
chaired the parliamentary Agriculture and Foods Committee.
Porozhanov tendered his resignation on Tuesday.
Taneva served as minister of agriculture in Boyko Borissov's
previous cabinet. She is an economist, a lawyer and has
experience in the food industry and agriculture sector, Deputy
Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev recalled when presenting
Taneva's nomination in Parliament.
Dessislava Taneva told journalists that she will work on
"clearing the reputational problems" in the Agriculture Ministry
after taking an oath in Parliament as the new Minister. She
noted that it is normal to make changes in the political team,
respectively in State Fund Agriculture, adding that the Fund's
Deputy Director Ivanka Bogdanova-Mizova will be dismissed.
There are many problems in agriculture and this Ministry is the
most difficult one, as over 100,000 people in Bulgaria work in
this sector, the newly appointed Minister commented. She noted
that direct payments to farmers are currently being processed
and this cannot be postponed as it is the biggest aid in the
Taneva will follow GERB's and the United Patriots' governance
programme in the sector.
Valeri Simeonov, leader of the National Front for the Salvation
of Bulgaria (NFSB), which is part of the power-sharing United
Patriots coalition, said that Porozhanov's replacement comes a
little late. "Ms. Taneva was a minister before, she is familiar
with the problems in both the sector and the Ministry, but I
don't think it will be easy for her," he said, voicing hope that
the new Minister will not succumb to lobbyism, at least not to
the extent seen in the previous leadership of the Ministry.
Simeonov said he approves the reshuffle.
The NFSB leader also noted that he had demanded Porozhanov's
resignation earlier over the obvious lobbyism that was seen when
changes were made to the ordinance for supplying schools with
fruit and milk. He said that back then, he personally asked
Prime Minister Borissov for the Agriculture Minister's
replacement during a meeting of the ruling coalition, but did
not deem it necessary to make this public.
According to Simeonov, more replacements need to be made in the
Agriculture Ministry. There are grounds for more changes to be
made, including in the regional directorates, where Movement for
Rights and Freedoms (MRF) appointees continue to run
everything, especially when it comes to the management of
State-owned forests, he added.
Speaking to journalists in Parliament, MRF Deputy Floor Leader
Halil Letifov said they are not against the resignation, but
against this Government and this majority being dominated by
nationalists and populists. All five votes against the
structural changes in the Cabinet came from the MRF.
Letifov explained that since the decision for the resignation
and election of a new minister was voted as one, his party voted
against. "Had they been put to the vote separately, we would
have voted in favour of the resignation and against the new
Minister," he added.