The investigation around Nexo, the cryptocurrency lending platform, have spurred a massive verbal fight between the leading political parties in Bulgaria.
Sources reveal that the party which ruled between 2009 and 2021, i.e., GERB alleged the two leading parties, i.e., Democratic Bulgaria and We Continue the Change, of having close associations with Nexo and even receiving huge donations from it. On the other hand, several politicians, including the MPs, have claimed that members of GERB have intentionally launched attacks against their rivals to prevent them from forming an interim government.
On January 12, local and international investigating agencies launched a probe and raided the company’s offices in Sofia, the capital city. Nexo has been accused of committing various financial crimes, including money laundering and violating sanctions against Russia.
While this investigation has become a part of global concern, political parties have been using it as a tool against each other’s reputation. For example, a statement from Boiko Borisov, the nation’s prime minister between 2009 and 2021, along with other members of GERB, revealed that five employees of Nexo donated 20,000 Bulgarian Lev (BGN) to Democratic Bulgaria in October 2021. In addition, later, two more workers of the platform followed the same trail giving the same amount days later.
The political party also checked if Nexo has financed the political campaign of We Continue the Change. The politicians from GERB, along with other political elites, have also claimed that the former finance minister Asen Vasilev was part of the firm’s inner circle and acted on behalf of the company, but the minister denied the claims.
However, members of the accused party quickly responded to these allegations. MP Kalina Konstantinova said that the prosecution launched the investigation at the exact time when President Rumen Radev was about to give Democratic Bulgaria a mandate to form a government and thus leave GERB out of the equation.
Further, she said that “But I think people can see past the facade that is meant to distract from the important subject. Namely, the formation of a cabinet and the consideration of one of the most important anti-corruption laws, the one on control over the chief prosecutor.”
Interestingly, Hristo Ivanov, the leader of Democratic Bulgaria, admitted that his party received donations from Nexo employees, but he sees nothing wrong in that as the transactions were publicly registered and reported to the Audit Office.